Teething – causes, symptoms & treatment

There’s something wrong with Klein-Oliver. He cries lightly, he whines and leaves his favorite toy in the closet unnoticed. Has the child spoiled her stomach? Gets is it the runny nose or is it seriously ill? At some point, every mother sees small warning signals in her child’s eyes that immediately make her very worried.

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What teething problems are there?

And usually the guesswork starts: How do you actually recognize chickenpox? Does fever develop in whooping cough? How long is the incubation period? (Period between the entry of pathogens into the body and the first appearance of the disease features.)

Our overview below is meant to bring a little order to the mess. But it should not tempt you to try to diagnose the doctor. Because the manifestations are not always as typical as here.

Even for the doctor, many years of experience often include naming a disease with the correct name at the first examination. Even the most precise knowledge of the disease should not prevent a mother from consulting the clinical thermometer (do you have one in the house?) At the first sign of the disease and calling the doctor if there is a fever.

You avoid self-reproaches, unnecessary worries and unrest. Nobody can completely protect their children from diseases. But you can prevent, i.e. keep the immune system awake and increase it. Cleanliness, fresh air, sun and a vitamin-rich, sensible diet are the most important in addition to avoiding physical and mental strain.

Of course, it is also not wise to take children to see the sick, especially for infectious diseases. If, in spite of all caution, your child now has an albeit minor childhood illness, never let it get up too early. Even the slightest disease weakens the body and makes it far more susceptible to sequelae than it normally would be.


  • Reddening of the throat and tonsils
  • Swelling of the tonsils and possibly also of the lymph glands at the angle of the jaw or neck
  • Pain and tickling in the throat, especially when swallowing
  • Fever, chills, headache, weariness
  • Play toughness outdoors and in any weather
  • Secretion of sick people
  • Avoid hypothermia >Otitis
  • Fever, restlessness, earache (it may also hurt when you touch the ear, stinging in the ear)
  • hearing impairment
  • Secretion of fluid or pus

Incubation period: 6 to 22 days.

  • Swelling of one or both halves of the face
  • the earlobe stands out
  • Slight fever, moderate disturbance of general condition
  • Difficulty chewing and opening your mouth
  • Pressure pain in front of the ear
  • Separate healthy children from sick people
  • Contagion options still exist some time after the disease has subsided

whooping cough

Incubation period: 8 to 15 days. symptoms:

  • First a cough that appears harmless, then convulsive coughing fits (especially at night) with a red-blue coloring of the face and a loud intake of air after the cough
  • Little or no fever
  • Loss of appetite after about 14 days
  • Replacement of the usual cough with convulsive coughing fits with expectoration of mucus
  • partial vomiting and often severe shortness of breath
  • Get vaccination against whooping cough


Incubation period: 13 to 15 days.

  • Round, later jagged, rather dark red spots, first on the face and behind the ears, then finally all over the body
  • Pre-stage: changing fever, inflammatory appearance (runny nose, bronchitis, conjunctivitis)
  • After 3 to 4 days, a large, rash that spreads all over the body
  • Isolation of healthy from sick children
  • Immunization by vaccination with the correct measles convalescent serum

Scarlet fever

Incubation period: 3 to 6 days.

  • Steep temperature rise, chills, vomiting
  • dense red dots on the neck, chest and in the crook of the thigh
  • the face remains free around the mouth
  • high pulse and often cramps in small children
  • Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
  • small blotchy, initially tarterous, later flaming red rash
  • Preventive vaccination with scarlet vaccine
  • Isolation of healthy children from the sick and their relatives


Incubation period: 2 to 6 days.

  • Nausea, fatigue, often abdominal pain
  • Swelling and reddening of the pharynx and tonsils, gray-white coating
  • Poor general condition, high pulse at a relatively low temperature
  • initially only slight throat problems, often sweet and rotten bad breath
  • Best of all with a diphtheria vaccination


Incubation period 14 to 21 days.

  • Pinhead to lens-sized, strongly itchy red spots on the body, possibly also on the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, which quickly turn into blisters
  • little or no fever
  • rash that spreads quickly over the body, the blisters of which dry up to form a dent

    Isolation of the sick can le > Symptoms, complaints & sign

In the classic childhood illnesses chickenpox, measles, rubella and scarlet fever and a general feeling of illness, skin rashes of various forms are in the foreground. Measles is often accompanied by conjunctivitis, sensitivity to light, headache and cough, the blotchy rash spreads all over the body. Redness and whitish spots on the skin are also typical mouth– and cheek mucosa.

Rubella begins with flu-like symptoms, the lymph nodes in the neck and behind the ears are swollen. The blotchy rash is less pronounced than with measles, the body temperature only rises slightly. Chicken pox is mainly characterized by red pustules on the trunk, which first turn into itchy blisters and then crust and fall off.

Scarlet fever is manifested by suddenly occurring high fever, very strong sore throat, swelling of the lymph nodes on the neck and a velvety rash. Before the typical “raspberry tongue” appears, white deposits can be seen on the tongue. In the case of mumps, unspecific symptoms such as weariness, headache and body aches initially appear, and the body temperature may be elevated.

After two to three days, the swelling of the parotid glands typical for the disease appears, chewing and swallowing become increasingly painful. Whooping cough is characterized by convulsive coughing fits that are accompanied by severe shortness of breath.

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Patients very often suffer from inflammation of the tonsils or ears. This can lead to breathing difficulties or hearing loss without treatment. However, the treatment itself does not lead to any particular complications and can be carried out relatively easily. Vaccinations against other childhood diseases are available to protect children from these diseases.

Complications are avoided in principle. If teething is not treated correctly or early, in the worst case it can lead to death or irreversible consequential damage. Patients often suffer from fever and symptoms of one flu or cold.

It can also lead to a general feeling of sickness and reduced resilience. It is not uncommon for children to suffer from stomach problems, which usually heal relatively well and do not lead to any particular complications. Life expectancy is typically not reduced with treatment.

When to go to the doctor?

Since childhood diseases are highly contagious diseases, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible at the first signs. Every childhood illness has individual symptoms that must be followed up. What they all have in common is a loss of drive, a mostly tearful appearance and a general feeling of being unwell. If there is a change in the complexion, the formation of poplar or pustules and discoloration of the skin, a doctor is required.

Fever, sweating, fatigue and an increased need for sleep are indications for which a doctor should be consulted. If there are behavioral problems, a refusal to eat or a reduced need to play, further investigations are necessary to clarify the cause. A strong cough, colored sputum, reddening of the mucous membranes and a swollen lymph should be checked with a doctor. If the child suffers from pain, chills or swollen tonsils, a doctor should be consulted.

In most cases, the complaints increase in size and intensity within a short time. Skin changes spread on the body and the child increasingly shows a weakened appearance. As soon as there is disinterest, an inner restlessness and swelling on the body and a reduction in hearing are discernible, a doctor must be consulted.

doctors & Therapists in your area


There are a wide variety of teething problems, and often they are straightforward. Follow-up care is similar and, in most cases, relates to strengthening the immune system of young patients. This can be successfully achieved with a whole bundle of measures.

First, fever-free children are allowed to go outside in the fresh air outside the infectious phase of their illness. Appropriate clothing, especially in cool weather, is essential. A healthy and vitamin-rich diet and a sufficient amount of drinking are also important. Fruit and vegetables, water and herbal teas are ideal in this context.

Sufficient sleep is also important so that the organism can recover from the stress of the respective childhood illness. With sports, children should wait a little after recovery until they are really fit again. There is usually nothing to be said against walks and other lightly metered activities. Drafts should be avoided as well as excessive sweating.

For example, if children take a bath, windows should be closed during and after. Fresh air, on the other hand, is particularly popular in bedrooms, which should never be ventilated consistently. When the children have fully recovered, the organism can be slowly rebuilt through physical activity.

view & forecast

The prognosis for childhood diseases is usually favorable thanks to today’s medical options. If a doctor is consulted at an early stage, the symptoms are usually alleviated within a short time. A recovery occurs within a few weeks. For some teething diseases, vaccinations are given that are given to the child at an early stage. These prevent an outbreak of the respective disease. Without the vaccinations or early treatment, some of the teething problems can be fatal to this day. It is therefore particularly important to seek the help and support of a doctor.

In most cases, teething heals completely. However, complications or sequelae are possible. Most of these depend on the stage of the disease at the start of treatment. The further an illness has progressed, the more unfavorable the further course. In addition, there is basically an increased risk of infection in the known childhood diseases. If these diseases break out in adults, the course of the disease is usually less favorable than in children. The healing path is extended and the risk of complications is significantly increased. People with a weakened immune system and pregnant women are particularly at risk. In order to avoid an emergency situation, these risk groups should make use of the possibilities offered by the health system when the first irregularities occur.

You can do that yourself

In home care, first of all, separating the sick child is extremely important to avoid transmission to others. Bed rest, lots of sleep and adequate hydration promote healing. Herbal teas containing anti-inflammatory medicinal herbs such as chamomile, sage or elderflower are particularly suitable as thirst-quenchers. Children over the age of one can be sweetened with a little honey. The well-tried chicken soup is also recommended. High fever can be reduced by applying cold calf wraps with vinegar water or rubbing with a wet washcloth – this type of cooling is not advisable if the child is freezing. Itchy rashes can be treated with special ointments or creams, with chickenpox, wearing light cotton gloves prevents the blisters from scratching.

Painful swelling of the glands is characteristic of mumps. In many cases, curd wraps or warm compresses have an analgesic effect. Measles is often accompanied by conjunctivitis and strong sensitivity to light, so the hospital room should be darkened. Eye strain from watching TV or reading should also be avoided. In whooping cough, moist room air makes breathing easier, relief is also provided by homemade onion juice with honey.


  • Gortner, L., Meyer, S., Sitzmann, F.C .: Dual series pediatrics. Thieme, Stuttgart 2012
  • Hellstern, G., et al: Short textbook pediatrics. Thieme, Stuttgart 2012
  • Kerbl, R. et al .: Pediatric checklist. Thieme, Stuttgart 2011

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What experiences and tips do you have about teething problems??

Comments and experiences from other visitors

herzipinki commented on 08/23/2012

Our girl, 6 years old, right before school starts, has nervous, neurotic or other twitching as well as intermittent uncontrollable shoulder lifting in spring. At that time, the doctor thought it came from a cold. Now it’s violent, uncontrollable shaking of the head for a while. The child also looks very worried about it. What could that be?


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