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What is the Connection Between Teething and Vomiting?

By Adrien-Luc Sanders
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Although not clinically proven, many parents have drawn a correlation between teething and vomiting in children. Children appear to vomit more often when teething, along with having other side effects, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, fever, and rashes. Multiple theories have been proposed explaining why children vomit more during the teething stages. These theories range from stomach enzymes to viral infection or stress.

The stress theory links teething to vomiting through the pain, confusion, and aggravation a child suffers during teething. Some suggest that when the child grows too upset, he may stress himself into vomiting. The more painful the teething stages, the more likely the child is to get sick. Children may also display lack of appetite.

As another possible cause for vomiting, stomach enzymes are tied to diarrhea and drooling. Many believe that the excessive drooling during teething builds up acidic enzymes in the mouth and stomach. When these enzymes aggravate the child's digestive system, they may cause diarrhea. Additional buildup and stomach irritation can supposedly lead to vomiting and an upset stomach.

Another theory cites viral or bacterial infections as the link between the two. During teething, children are very likely to put their hands or foreign objects in their mouths. This is an instinctive attempt to relieve the pain in their gums by gnawing on fingers, teething rings, and even the living room furniture.

If those objects are not clean, they may transfer viruses or bacteria into the child's mouth. If the infectious matter is swallowed, it can cause a cold, the flu, or any number of ailments with symptoms like fever and vomiting. Although teething does not directly cause the vomiting, it can still be claimed as an indirect source.

Still other theories claim there is no connection. Very young children are likely to vomit on a regular basis, and normal vomiting may occur in tandem with teething to make it seem like a false symptom. Monitoring the rate of vomiting before and during teething can help to establish a baseline for an individual child.

Children suffer different symptoms during teething, so what may be normal for one child could be abnormal for another — making it difficult to confirm a connection between teething and vomiting. Some children may vomit excessively during teething, while others may not do it at all. Regardless of the cause, if a child begins throwing up more than normal, the parent should seek the aid of a medical professional.

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Discussion Comments
By JessiC — On Aug 19, 2011

Well, you know, I think it might have something to do with the pain that goes along with the teething. I know how bad it hurts when my wisdom teeth start to act up. Sometimes I get nauseous myself.

Of course, I guess everyone is different. Neither of my children did just the same when they were teething.

My daughter seemed to have struggled with the whole thing. She had every teething sign known to man, and then some.

It also took her forever to get her teeth, and she chewed and chewed for weeks (sometimes months) before one would come through.

My son, on the other hand, had hardly any symptoms at all. A little fever, a little more drool than usual and out pops ten teeth!

It didn’t seem to hurt nearly as bad for him as it did for her. She had the vomiting and he didn’t; I always assumed that it went hand in hand.

By tlcJPC — On Aug 18, 2011

I just assumed that the reason my kids threw up more when they were teething was because of all of the drool.

I mean, I know that when I was pregnant with them it seemed like I had more and more and more spit every day. It made me incredibly nauseous on more than one occasion. (Not to be disgusting; it's just the truth of the matter.)

I just figured that it was a case of the same thing with the teething infants, because boy they drooled up a storm when they were cutting their teeth.

Although neither of them teethed just the same, and neither had all of the same symptoms, they both had the vomiting and the drooling.

Come to think of it, they both had diarrhea, too.

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