Teething and Dribbling

Dribbling or drooling as it is more commonly known is one of the many joys of teething although you might not quite see it that way. The gums produce extra saliva which lubricates the gums in preparation for the milk teeth to emerge. This is designed to help the baby during teething.

Problems of drooling during teething

But there is a price to be paid: this means having to deal with copious amounts of saliva on not only your baby but his/her clothes, bedding and furniture.

Another side effect of this dribbling is a skin rash, in particular around the nose, mouth and chin which occur when the skin comes into contact with the saliva. The skin becomes constantly wet and it is this wetness which leads to chapping and an angry red soreness around these areas of the face. This is even worse if your baby has eczema as well. Find out more about teething and rashes in our teething skin rash and eczema article.

And then there is the risk of this saliva dripping down the back of your baby's throat which leads to a dry cough. Not much fun at all for your poor little mite. Plus there is the fact that your baby is still learning how to control their saliva and has a tendency to spit it out rather than swallow it. But don't worry too much as there are quite a few adults who have this problem especially footballers!

Dribbling: what to expect

Excess dribbling is often the first sign of teething. It is an advance warning that the teeth are due to break through and is often worse with the first tooth. It tends to ease off with the rest of the teeth. You can expect this to happen the day after your baby has his/her first tooth and this usually lasts for several days. The best way of dealing with this is to keep a supply of bibs handy and ensure that your baby's chin is kept clean and dry. There are babies who suffer with diarrhoea at the same time as drooling which is due to excess saliva upsetting their tummies. This saliva can be quite acidic and irritates the stomach causing a tummy upset, wind and loose stools. But this is temporary and tends to clear up within 48 hours. However, it is a good idea to keep your baby's mouth and chin clean and place him/her on their side in their cot or bed to prevent them from inhaling this saliva. Just be aware that drooling can be a sign of something else apart from teething such as a cold, ear/chest infection or an allergy. So if this is accompanied by a high temperature or symptoms other than those you would expect with teething then see your doctor.