Teething is a huge concern to most parents. However, there are situations where things can become even more stressful. Anything else happening at the same time as teething can instantly seem far more worrisome. And this might be at the heart of a common assumption among many parents. In short, is teething actually linked to diarrhea?
A recent study points out that this idea seems fairly localized within the Western world. This in part should suggest rather heavily that it has more to do with coincidence than fact. It’s very unusual for human nature to change depending on one’s location.
The usual explanation comes from one well verified fact. When babies are teething they’ll typically produce an excess of saliva. Many parents feel that this excessive amount of saliva will in turn upset the balance of a baby’s gastrointestinal system. And in their opinion the end result is diarrhea.
However, the scientific answer is that this isn’t the case. It’s been fairly well investigated by researchers at this time and there doesn’t seem to be any causal link between the two conditions. However, that’s not really the end of the story. One needs to look a little deeper into why the conditions appear at the same time when there’s no real causal link between them.
There’s two main points to consider when looking at the link between teething and diarrhea. The first is what actually happens in terms of behavior when a baby is teething. Any parent can attest to the fact that babies at this stage will put almost anything in their mouths. This is one of the potential causes of the diarrhea. The teething isn’t directly causing GI issues. However, the teething can result in a child putting more bacterially infected items in his or her mouth. This, in turn, can lead to diarrhea.
Another notable link between teething and diarrhea comes from the child’s age. Teething typically occurs between 6 and 24 months old. This is also the point where children tend to exhibit a wide variety of medical issues. Much like teething itself, it’s about a child’s development allowing for various issues to show up. Babies and young children are going through a huge amount of changes in a short amount of time. And this means that underlying medical issues will often show up.
The most important thing to remember is that diarrhea can’t simply be written away as a product of teething. Many parents simply write the condition off because they assume that the two are linked. But in reality it needs a doctor’s attention just like any other sign of illness. Even if the two were causally linked, long term diarrhea can result in a number of medical issues, one of the most notable being dehydration.
If the diarrhea goes on for a longer period of time than a doctor needs to access a few different factors, the first being the actual reason for the diarrhea, and after that he’ll need to decide on a treatment plan. By attending to the issue the child will have considerable discomfort taken care of. And parents can rest assured that their baby is safe.