Teething often results in mild health problems for toddlers, but symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and vomiting may indicate a more serious illness. Possible explanations for vomiting in teething toddlers may include the overproduction of saliva, excess stress or a viral infection. Vomiting is not a typical sign of healthy teething. If your toddler is experiencing vomiting or other worrisome symptoms of teething, consult with your child’s pediatrician.
Typical Teething Symptoms
Experts disagree about certain symptoms associated with toddler teething. The most common symptoms that teething may cause include irritability, gum swelling and sensitivity, drooling, biting behavior, interrupted sleep patterns and refusal of solid foods. If your child is experiencing diarrhea, fever or vomiting, these symptoms are likely due to an infection or unrelated illness.
There are a number of theories that link teething to vomiting in toddlers. According to BBC Health, some children vomit when they’re upset. The discomfort, aggravation, and confusion associated with teething can often make a toddler upset, resulting in vomiting. Other theories suggest the link between teething and viral infections, as teething toddlers often put their hands and foreign objects into their mouths. Infections like the stomach flu are known to cause vomiting and could be mistaken for teething.
Preventing Upset Stomachs
Upset stomachs in teething toddlers may be caused by a buildup of saliva and intake of air from crying into their fragile digestive systems. If your toddler is using a teething toy to soothe his sore gums, be sure to keep it clean to prevent an upset stomach. Some parents opt to try teething gels that can be applied directly to the gums to relieve pain and swelling; however, The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that there are serious risks associated with these over-the-counter products, so talk to your pediatrician before using.
When to Consult a Doctor
Parents should pay close attention to their toddler’s general health and behavior while teething. Symptoms associated with teething are usually mild and temporary, lasting less than two days. Normal teething symptoms can be managed at home, but flu-like symptoms can indicate a more serious problem, which requires the attention of your child’s pediatrician. If symptoms persist for more than three days without the eruption of a tooth, another illness is likely the cause. If your child is vomiting excessively, seek immediate medical attention.