Can Teething Cause a Fever?

My baby is a little over 8 months old. She keeps getting fevers. The doctor never finds anything wrong with her and I’m spending a fortune that I can’t afford to spend. Her gums are swollen, too. I was asking a friend about it who has two children and she said that teething can cause a fever and I should slit my baby’s gums so the teeth can come in more easily. Is this accurate? I’m not sure how to slit the gums? Does a dentist do this?


Dear Kathleen,

I’m glad you wrote. Being a mom can be stressful. You want to make sure you are doing the best for your child. Suddenly, you’re expected to be an expert on so many things.

The first thing I would say, emphatically, is to NOT slit your child’s gums. Your baby’s body has a very natural way of dealing with teething. The teeth will break through as they develop. If you ease the way for them, you will find the teeth can come in prematurely which will mean the roots do not have time to fully form.

This is especially important when it comes to your daughter’s back teeth. They have to stay in place until she is around twelve year’s old. With malformed roots, it will difficult for that to happen.

As for your question about whether teething can cause a fever, the answer would be yes. However, it would only be a mild fever. In addition to the fever, you may also notice more drooling than normal, general fussiness, pulling on the ears, and a diminished appetite.

If your daughter is having a hard time with it, there are over-the-counter medications that can be used to ease the discomfort she is in.

After she is able to sit up well for an extended period of time, you should look into getting her established with a pediatric dentist. One of the most common issues I see with young children is that parents tend to wait until there is an urgent dental issue to take them to the dentist. This almost always leads to some dental fear in the children that impacts their view of the dentist for years, sometimes for a lifetime. Getting them to the dentist before there is a problem gives them a positive feeling with the dentist and helps prevent anxiety.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. HIllary Peck.