Category: 

What is the Connection Between Teething and Diarrhea?

Article Details
  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
NASA scientists have discovered a class of stars with atmospheric temperatures cooler than the human body.  more...

December 2 ,  1982 :  The first permanent artificial heart was implanted in a human.  more...

There is no scientifically proven causal connection between teething and diarrhea. Some events that happen during the teething period in a baby’s life can lead to diarrhea. These include a drop in immunity once boosted by being in the womb, an increased number of germs being introduced into the body due to items being put in the mouth, and increased drooling.

Babies receive strong immunity benefits when they are in their mother’s womb. By the time they are teething, most of this immunity has disappeared. Though this does not indicate a direct connection between teething and diarrhea, the two can happen over a similar period of time.

In order to relieve the pain of growing teeth, babies also tend to put more items in their mouth when teething. This introduces new and larger numbers of germs into their bodies. These can lead to illnesses which cause diarrhea.

Profuse drooling is a common symptom of teething. It is possible that the larger amount of saliva passing through the baby’s mouth could dilute nutrients and increase the amount of acid going into the stomach. These combined elements can hamper the effectiveness of digestive enzymes and the added liquid could speed the progress of feces through the intestines.

Ad

As teething and diarrhea are not directly connected, excessive watery stools should not be automatically dismissed as part of the process of cutting teeth. Even if the diarrhea seems to be related to teething, it is important to rule out other illnesses, such as a virus. If a baby has more than six to eight loose stools in a day, or is also vomiting, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

When a baby experiences teething and diarrhea at the same time, digestive problems can usually be alleviated with proper diet. Foods such as applesauce, rice cereal, carrots, and blueberries do not irritate the gastrointestinal system. Small amounts of water can help to rehydrate the baby. Chamomile tea served in a bottle may also soothe the baby’s digestive system, though it should not be administered without first consulting a doctor. Fruits such as prunes, apricots, peaches, and pears and fruit juices should be avoided.

There are several symptoms which do more specifically indicate teething. These include an increase in irritability, profuse drooling, and a slight temperature. Teething babies may also experience bulging of the gums and more wakefulness during the night due to discomfort. Some babies will also bite more when teething.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

fify
Post 3

Both my kids had fever and diarrhea at the first signs of teething. I don't think it's a coincidence.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@ZipLine-- Has she been putting stuff in her mouth?

I personally don't see how diarrhea and teething could be connected. She probably has a stomach bug and it's good that she doesn't have fever or vomiting. Just keep an eye on her and make sure that she's getting enough food and liquids. Give her breast-milk, water, fruit and veggie purees and yogurt.

If she develops more symptoms, she needs to see a doctor.

ZipLine
Post 1

If an infant has mild diarrhea at the same time as teething with no other symptoms, can I assume that teething is the cause?

I realize there is no direct connection between diarrhea and teething. But my baby has had loose stools for the past few days and no other symptoms. She doesn't seem unwell, she doesn't have fever. She's not crying and she's eating well. The only thing she's going through right now is teething. Sometimes it makes her irritated but she has been coping rather well.

I don't know what else could be causing the diarrhea. Any ideas?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email