Its common knowledge that teething causes fevers. It seems to be a very accepted fact in parenthood, but is it accurate? Should your momma radar be going off if your little one develops a fever? Let’s discuss baby teething and a fever!
How High is a Fever?
First, let’s identify a fever. In this case we are talking about babies under 6 months having a temperature over 104 or babies over 6 months having a temperature over 102. These are health industry standards for fever versus an elevated temperature. The average body temperature is 97.9-99.0 degrees. While most people are pretty much consistent at 98.7, anything is the range is “normal”. Anything above that 99.0 is a fever but the 102/104 mark indicates a more serious fever.
Does Teething Cause Fevers?
Like I said, EVERYONE thinks so, but technically no, teething should not cause a fever. It may cause your little one to have an elevated temperature, somewhere between the 99-102/104 range, but it should not last long and should not get higher than the 102/104 threshold. Why does this happen? It is likely due to your little one being uncomfortable, rising body temperature is a normal response to pain in the body. In addition, inflammation in the mouth could cause a higher reading on the thermometer if you are taking baby’s temperature orally, meaning they may not have a higher temperature than normal at all.
What Does it Mean if They Have a Fever?
Don’t panic, it’s probably an infection. A high fever, one that rises over the 102/104 mark, is usually caused by a cold, flu, bacterial infection, etc. If your child’s temperature rises to fever level it is time to call the doctor! There are a lot of things that can cause an elevated temperature (99-101.9) such as: high air temperature, exercise, dehydration, lots of snuggling, overdressed, baby being upset for extended period of time, car seat or stroller with little air circulation and, you guessed it, teething. Really anytime baby gets sweaty, they have the possibility for a higher reading temperature.
What to Do?
It is definitely a little bit of a parenting legend that babies will have fevers with teething and there are still many parents I know that swear their child spiked a fever EVERYTIME a tooth popped through. If you fall into that category, it may be helpful to know what to look for to differentiate between a cold and teething. Check out this article to help with that. That way you can more successfully treat the issue. And remember that while blaming everything on teething is an easy scapegoat, if you are seeing a fever with your babe call the doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Did your little one’s temperature rise while teething? Questions about fevers? Drop a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!