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Can Teething Cause Fevers?

Our daughter, Tiara, is almost 8 months old and keeps getting fevers. There are no other symptoms except irritability. Her gums are swollen on the lower front, which I think means her teeth are coming in. Could those be causing the fevers? Also, a friend said I should slit the gums so the teeth can get in, but that seems really dangerous to me. Am I supposed to do that?


Dear Kelly,

Child fussy from teething

Let’s start with the swollen gums. Your instincts are good. Please do not slit or cut her gums in any way. The gums will open on their own. Babies bodies are designed for the teeth to come through once the root has developed enough. If you skip that process, it is very possible that the growth of her teeth roots will be stunted and she will not have enough root to support the new teeth. Give it time and the process will happen naturally.

As for the fevers. If your daughter’s fevers are mild, then, yes, they can be from the teething. Anything other than mild and I would take her to see her doctor.

Symptoms of Teething

  • Fussiness
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Every baby is a bit different, but these are some of the more common symptoms. They do not have to have all of the symptoms. I’m just making you aware of things that could happen. If you are still concerned, it is perfectly fine to see a pediatric dentist once a child is old enough to sit up. In fact, a good pediatric dentist will always recommend an early start to dental appointments. This way the children associate the dentist with fun. Too many parents wait until there is an issue with a child’s teeth and then the association is scary and painful, whcih can lead to a lifetime of dental anxiety.

    This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.

    Pediatric or General Dentist for Special Needs Teenagers?

    I am a foster mom and recently took some extra training in order to care for a special needs teenager. He’s sixteen years old and it is as if he is a child trapped in a man’s body. While he is a pure delight to have in our home, he does get a bit sensitive if people treat him as a child instead of as a teenager. Thus my dilemma. I’m afraid if I take him to a pediatric dentist that he’ll get offended and not cooperate. At the same itme, I need someone who is okay working with what is essentially a man-child. Do you have any advice for me?


    Dear Molly,

    young teenager smiling with braces

    I think foster parents are amazing human beings. I’m thrilled you are doing this and I know the added stress of a special needs child is daunting at times. The good news is there are general dentists who do treat children. You would want someone who is good at working with children but whose office does not feel childish. They are completely qualified to treat children. All general dentists do a pediatric dental rotation.

    One way to find out if they are good at children is to notice when they want to first start treating children. If they say they want to wait until they are five or older, then I would suggest to look elsewhere, even though your foster son is much younger. If they say two or three years old, then you can know that they really like working with kiddos and have some skill with then. It takes a special skillset to keep toddlers entertained and cooperative in the dental chair. If they can do it with a toddler, they can do it with a sixteen year old, even one who is special needs.

    I’m going to make a suggestion that you ask them for a tour of the practice so your son can meet the staff. If you explain the situation, I am sure they will agree to that.

    Best of luck.
    I’m sure you will find the right dentist for your foster son.

    This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Goebel.