Teething in children and the alleviation of symptoms

J Fam Health Care. 2002;12(1):12-3.


Teething is a normal process by which an infant begins to cut the first teeth (primary dentition). On average, infants begin teething at six months and by the age of three years all the first teeth have erupted. A variety of symptoms can accompany teething including sensitive and painful gums, mouth ulceration, drooling, feeding difficulties, lack of sleep and crying, all of which result in a distressed child and anxious parent. Some teething symptoms can be alleviated effectively at home with teething aids such as cold teething rings. In addition, over-the-counter treatments are available which provide pain relief and are mainly in the form of analgesic and anaesthetic gels, some of which also possess antiseptic properties. Gels such as those containing choline salicylate can be applied direct to the gums specifically to relieve pain and inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Tooth Eruption* / physiology


  • Analgesics
  • Anesthetics, Local