Your baby is fussy and drooling and chewing on pretty much everything they can get their hands on. And now they’re adding a teething fever to the mix? Is this normal?
Okay, mama. Breathe. We know. Having a teething baby can be super stressful—and one of the hardest parts of all is knowing which symptoms are just run-of-the-mill agony and which ones are worth worrying about.
In this article: 📝
- Does teething cause fever?
- What is the highest fever for teething?
- How long does a teething fever last?
Does teething cause fever?
So do babies get a fever when teething?
The short answer is, well, not short. Teething and fever have a complicated relationship.
The process of pushing out those 20 milk teeth is quite something. That little body is going through a lot—and yes, it may respond by turning up the heat. The American Academy of Pediatrics refers to it as a “very slight increase in temperature” caused by the pain they’re experiencing.
But—and it’s a big one—a serious fever may be the result of another infection that requires immediate attention. The difficulty is, it’s hard to know what’s what—particularly because they can’t exactly tell you what’s going on with them.
So how are you supposed to know if it’s a teething fever (a very mild temperature rise while teething) or something more serious?
What is the highest fever for teething?
The first question to ask is: how hot is your baby? A teething fever range is on the lower end of the spectrum—less than 100.4℉. (Technically, that’s not really even a fever.)
And then, when it comes to the teething process, here’s what else you’re looking for:
The average age to cut your first tooth is around six months, and the whole process usually lasts until they’re about three years old.
Other teething symptoms include:
- Lots and lots and lots of drool
- A teething rash in the mouth or neck area that forms as a result of all that drool
- Sore, swollen gums
- A whole lot of gnawing. On everything they can find
- Cheek pulling
- Some serious fussiness
- Not wanting to feed
- Sometimes, a blister might form in the mouth
Call your doctor if your baby is:
- Older than three months and has a fever over 100.4℉.
- Younger than three months and has a fever of any sort.
And if your baby’s teething fever (even if it’s low grade) is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Refusing to feed
- Crying that doesn’t let up
- Dehydration symptoms, such as dry diapers, tearless cries, or a sunken spot on their head
- Shivers or chills
These could be signs that something else is up. Fevers can be caused by a wide variety of things: from bacterial and viral infections, to serious health conditions, to heat exhaustion.
How long does a teething fever last?
Your baby’s temperature may start rising a day or two before the tooth erupts and come down once the tooth is out.
If this is all it is, there’s not much that you need to be doing, except keeping them cool and hydrated.
For other teething symptoms, there are ways to jump in and help.
A gum massage with clean fingers can go a long way. Teething toys and rings are also great. For added soothe, pop them in the refrigerator beforehand. A great hack if you don’t have a teething toy? A cold washcloth for them to chew on. They won’t know the difference. Promise.
Chat to your doctor about medication options. They may advise acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your baby is older than six months.
(The CDC recommends staying away from teething jewelry, gels, and creams as they can do more harm than good.)
So, bottom line, yes, a temperature rise is normal when teething. A fever over 100.4℉? Not so much. If you’re worried, give your doctor a call.
Good luck, mama!
More on baby teething:
When Do Babies Start Teething?
What is a Baby Teeth Chart and How Does it Work?
How Long Does Teething Last?
12 Easy Baby Teething Remedies
Can Teething Cause Vomiting?
How To Soothe A Teething Baby At Night
A Quick Guide to Teething Poop & Diarrhea