The side effects of teething

Q: Can teething cause diarrhea or fever? 


A: There are many misconceptions about symptoms associated with teething. Research has shown that low-grade fevers can be seen with teething. However, any temperature of 101 or higher very likely isn’t due to teething, but rather some sort of infection. 

Looser stools can also be associated with teething, usually due to an infant or toddler making slightly different food selections. If there’s a larger quantity of diarrhea, however, it’s likely due to an infection.

Fussiness, some irritability and poorer sleep are all commonly associated with teething. Many parents will prefer to use an occasional dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, instead of letting an infant or child “tough it out.” Teething children are likely experiencing pain, so this is definitely an appropriate use of these medications.

Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Send questions to This column is intended to provide general information only and not medical advice. Contact your health care provider with questions about your child.