Signs and Symptoms Associated With Primary Tooth Eruption: A Clinical Trial of Nonpharmacological Remedies

Mahtab Memarpour; Elham Soltanimehr; Taherh Eskandarian


BMC Oral Health. 2015;15(88) 

In This Article


Background: To evaluate disturbances in primary tooth eruption and their management with nonpharmacological remedies.

Methods: In this nonrandomized clinical trial, 270 children aged between 8 and 36 months were selected and divided into 5 groups with 54 children initially enrolled in each group. The children were seen during an 8-day period during tooth eruption. At each appointment data were recorded from oral examination, tympanic temperature measurement and a questionnaire. The five methods used as remedies to reduce teething symptoms were: 1) cuddle therapy, 2) ice, 3) rubbing the gums, 4) teething rings and 5) food for chewing. Teething symptoms, the type of erupted tooth, symptoms of recovery and the mother's satisfaction with treatment were evaluated.

Results: Two hundred and fifty four children (mean age 16 ± 7.2 months) completed the study. The most frequent teething symptoms were drooling (92 %), sleep disturbances (82.3 %) and irritability (75.6 %). These symptoms were more pronounced in low birth weight children (p > 0.05). Canine eruption led to more loss of appetite than incisor (p = 0.033) or molars eruption (p = 0.014). Low grade increases in body temperature were observed only on the day of eruption (36.70 ± 0.39 °C), when body temperature was significantly different compared to the day before and the day after eruption (both p < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between fever as reported by mothers and temperature readings obtained by the investigators. The most favorable results for time to recovery and the mother's satisfaction were seen when teething rings were used, followed by cuddle therapy and rubbing the gums.

Conclusions: There was no association between teething and symptoms such as fever or diarrhea. Low birth weight children may have more teething symptoms. Teething rings, cuddle therapy and rubbing the gums were the most effective methods to reduce symptoms.