Teething symptoms in the first year of life and associated factors: a cohort study

J Clin Pediatr Dent. Spring 2010;34(3):201-6.


Objective: To investigate the occurrence and management of teething symptoms during the first year of life and associated factors.

Study design: 500 children were recruited at birth. Research assessments including structured interviews, anthropometric measurements and dental examination were carried out after birth, at 6 months and at one-year of age. The primary outcome of this study was defined as the occurrence of one or more teething symptoms within the first year of life, as reported by the mother.

Results: Teething symptoms were reported in 73% of the children analyzed (273/375). The symptoms most frequently reported were irritability (40.5%), fever (38.9%), diarrhoea (36.0%) and itching (33.6%). Dentists had little influence on the management of symptoms and self-medication to relieve them was a common practice. The risk of reporting teething symptoms was higher for children from nuclear families (p = 0.040) and for children from families with higher income (p = 0.040).

Conclusions: Teething symptoms were highly reported in this population. Pediatric dentists should be accessible and provide adequate orientation when symptoms can be managed at home or immediate referral to health services when more serious diseases are suspected.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Feeding
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Infant
  • Irritable Mood
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Nuclear Family
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pruritus / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care
  • Self Medication
  • Sialorrhea / physiopathology
  • Tooth Eruption / physiology*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / physiology*