Many parents have reported the occurrence of diarrhea during their baby’s teething period. For that reason, teething has become associated with diarrhea. There is, however, no evidence for a causal relationship between teething and diarrhea.
Parents believed that increased drooling during the teething period causes diarrhea. The idea was that, during the teething period, babies swallowed the excess saliva, which interfered with the gastrointestinal system in a way that caused diarrhea.
However, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. It’s more likely that the relationship between teething and diarrhea is indirect. As with other postpartum issues, such as painful sex after delivery and breastfeeding issues, teething diarrhea is a health problem that many parents don’t have enough knowledge about.
There's no doubt the teething period isn't easy for your baby. You may notice them grabbing different objects and chewing on them to try to relieve the pain. Some of these objects may not be clean and may be contaminated with different types of germs.
This unhygienic habit of sticking various objects in the mouth and chewing on them exposes the baby to the risk of bacterial infections that may lead to diarrhea. Combined with the fact that their immune system is not yet fully mature, the baby’s body can’t effectively fight infections. As a result, they’re likely to get diarrhea.
In addition to that, the teething period in many infants usually occurs six to 24 months following birth. In this time, a large portion of infants will begin to exhibit a wide variety of symptoms that may result from different, unrelated diseases. The fact that these symptoms happen at the same time as teething doesn’t necessarily mean they're directly related.
Other potential causes of diarrhea in babies include lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy. The main symptoms of lactose intolerance are bloating, loose stool, and passing a lot of gas. If you find the baby is allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using formulas that contain it.
For parents wondering “Can teething cause diarrhea?” these explanations might be unsatisfactory, and that exposes the baby to extreme risk. During the early years, the baby will suffer from infections many times. Whether your child suffers an ear infection or intestinal infection, the constant battle between their body and the disease makes the immune system stronger.
Diarrhea that occurs during teething might actually deflect attention from a real illness. Parents might attribute the loose bowel movements to unhygienic condition and brush off other symptoms as minor. This can turn tragic if other symptoms point to a more serious infection that needs immediate treatment.
Another situation in which parents might easily miss potentially serious symptoms and brush them off as teething diarrhea is when the mother suffers from postpartum depression. Experiencing some anxiety after giving birth is normal, but if it leads to postpartum psychosis, the mother should seek professional help.
How long does diarrhea from teething last?
In addition to wondering, "Does teething cause diarrhea?" you might also be curious to know how long it lasts. If diarrhea occurs during the onset of the teething period, it will take a few days for it to go away after you take the appropriate steps. But if diarrhea doesn't stop after about a week or reoccurs every few weeks, have a doctor examine your baby.