Teething is one of the developmental stages of the dento-alveolar system. Teeth are laid down in the fetus before birth, and the full bite is formed within a few years after teething, coinciding with the development of the whole body. The child first has milk teeth, which are then replaced by permanent teeth. A lot of mothers are worried about whether there can be snot, cough and other symptoms during the teething period, whether it is necessary to worry about it and how to alleviate the condition.
The appearance of milk bite is a natural process that is usually not accompanied by pathological manifestations. However, only 30% of children are asymptomatic during this period, and 70% have the so-called teething syndrome, which is accompanied by both general and local symptoms. In some cases, infants may have an increase or decrease in appetite, restlessness, and sleep disturbances.
There are also local symptoms, including redness and swelling of the gums and increased salivation. According to some researchers, the key role in the development of teething syndrome is played by inflammatory substances – cytokines, which are released from the gums at this moment.
As for such phenomena as cough, snot and fever during teething, doctors have different opinions. Many doctors believe that they are not related to this process and occur for other reasons. Some parents, as well as pediatricians and pediatric dentists are sure that it is the appearance of the first teeth can explain the emergence of runny nose, fever, cough, nausea, liquid stool and many other phenomena in the infant.
According to other data, runny nose during teething in children may be associated with a decrease in immunity, accompanying the process of teething and the attachment of viral and bacterial infections on this background.
Thus, during the teething period, we can distinguish 3 situations in which a runny nose occurs:
- Runny nose caused by teething.
- Rhinitis as a manifestation of acute respiratory infections.
- Physiologic rhinitis in an infant.
If any symptoms appear, parents should consult with a pediatrician to avoid complications.
Runny nose due to teething
The appearance of the milk bite is accompanied by a runny nose and other symptoms in 35-60% of cases. Rhinitis in this situation occurs due to increased production of mucus by the glands of the nasal cavity, as well as swelling in the nose and nasopharynx.
Swelling of the mucosa and increased blood circulation accompanying the process of emergence of the deciduous tooth contributes to the swelling of the mucosa. The duration of runny nose usually does not exceed 3-5 days. Snot in a child is liquid, has a transparent, watery appearance, so it does not cause a pronounced violation of nasal breathing.
The general condition is not significantly affected. Due to the flow of mucus down the back wall of the pharynx, the child may have a cough. It usually occurs after sleep and passes within 1-3 days.
Snot when teething passes independently and does not require special treatment for children. To facilitate nasal breathing, remove mucus and reduce swelling, it is recommended to do nasal lavage with seawater solutions.
Rhinitis as a manifestation of acute respiratory infections
The development of a runny nose caused by acute respiratory viral infection against the background of eruption of milk teeth is quite understandable. The reason is that the milk teeth appear from 4 to 36 months, a period when the risk of infectious diseases in children is significantly increased.
Acute respiratory infections are the most frequent pathology among all infectious diseases. Nasal mucosa is affected in 70.7% of cases of acute respiratory infections. The causative agents of acute respiratory infections are represented by many different viruses. One of them is respiratory syncytial virus, which causes respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSVI). It most often affects children from 1 to 6 months of age, but the disease can develop later in life.
The frequent occurrence of acute respiratory infections is associated with the imperfect development of immune defense mechanisms in the newborn and with the peculiarities of virus transmission. It can spread not only by airborne droplets, but also through hands, clothes, household items. Therefore, viral infections are considered a familiar phenomenon in children.
In some children RSVI is asymptomatic, in others it leads to malaise, fever and lethargy. The most common symptoms are:
- elevated body temperature;
- nasal congestion;
- dry cough;
- nasal discharge.
In acute respiratory viral infections, snot may be clear and mucoid in the first few days of the illness, then yellowish and greenish after 4-5 days. The severity of the illness depends on the child’s age, health, and other individual characteristics. The younger the child, the more severe the disease.
The presence of narrow and short nasal passages, abundant blood supply, and loose mucosa contribute to the fact that even a small amount of it leads to disturbed nasal breathing in babies. Disruption or cessation of normal nasal breathing makes feeding difficult and can cause anxiety, weight loss, and sleep disturbances.
Forced breathing through the mouth causes swallowing of air, which can lead to increased gas in the stomach, nausea. The infectious process in the nasopharynx of infants often spreads to neighboring organs. This can explain the appearance not only of a runny nose, but also cough, fever during teething. Coughing in this case is not due to the flow of mucus, but to the accompanying inflammation of the pharynx, larynx, trachea or bronchi.
Acute infectious rhinitis can last up to 14 days and requires therapeutic measures.
In the first months of life, nasal congestion and the appearance of clear snot in a child can occur not only during teething, but is a natural condition, which is called physiological runny nose. This phenomenon is caused by the adaptation of the mucous membrane to the effects of external stimuli. Especially characteristic for the appearance of physiological runny nose in a baby is the beginning of the heating season. Dryness and dustiness of the air in the room where the child is, provokes abundant production of mucus. This leads to difficulty in nasal breathing.
When physiological rhinitis occurs, the child is cheerful and happy, appetite and sleep are not disturbed. Mucus that comes out of the nose is clear and liquid. Frequent sneezing is noted. An abundant amount of mucus causes the formation of crusts in the nose. Therefore, the main method of treatment of physiological rhinitis is humidification of the air in the room and the use of drops and sprays based on saline solutions.
What to do when a runny nose occurs
If symptoms of a runny nose occur during teething, the first thing to do is help the child cope with the discomfort. In the vast majority of cases, runny nose treatment is symptomatic:
- Cleaning the nasal cavity.
- Irrigation therapy.
- Distraction therapy (such as hot foot baths).
- Vasoconstricting drugs
Your child’s pediatrician will help you decide how to treat snot during teething. He will decide if the medication is needed and how long to take it.
If we talk about runny nose, then the simplest, most effective and safe method is irrigation therapy – washing the nose with solutions with a physiological concentration of salt. These solutions clean and moisten the mucosa, remove crusts and pathological discharge, reduce edema, restore respiratory epithelium function and normalize nasal breathing.
Nasal rinsing allows not only to wash the pathogen from the surface, but also helps other drugs to act directly on the mucosa.
For irrigation therapy, a solution of sea water containing a large number of trace elements can be used. Unlike physiological solution, sea water is rich not only in sodium ions, but also in bicarbonate, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other substances. Calcium and magnesium optimize the mobility of the cilia of the respiratory epithelium. Bicarbonates reduce the viscosity of the secretion. Zinc and selenium stimulate the production of immune factors on the mucosa.