There are certain signs which would indicate the approaching eruption of teeth. The body may suffer some pain and discomfort. There may be a little inflammation of his gum or it may even bleed as a tooth pushes its way through. He may feel miserable and need extra comfort. He may frequently put his fingers or other hard objects in the mouth, or bite hard upon the nipples of the breast while being fed. He may dribble a lot making his cheeks and chin chapped and red. Other signs include tenderness, swelling or reddening of tonsils and eyes. If all these signs are present, the child is beyond doubt affected by its growing teeth.
A tooth before it can shoot out must first pierce the gums. In case the teeth are not hard enough, they cannot work their way through. Similarly, if the gums are too thick, more time will be required for piercing them. This causes irritation and pain, both of which cause a heat in the mouth, a greater flow of body humours (fluids) to the affected art, swellings, inflammations and restlessness. The teething will therefore become an easy process if the gums are made thin and insensible and hard. This can be achieved by gentle rubbing of the gum and by giving the child the wholesome mother’s milk. The child should also be given something hard such as sugarcane, sugar-free rusks, carrot, rubber ball and plastic blocks to chew.
It is also necessary to relax the gums and to reduce the painful sensation caused by the pressure of the tooth. The gums maybe softened and relaxed frequently by massaging the tumid and pained part with warm honey, or some oil of olives or almonds or butter. The inflamed parts may be pressed with roasted fig, or a fine sponge dipped in a warm decoction of carrots, or in milk boiled with figs.
At the time of teething, food should be curtailed by one fourth of the normal quantity. No changes in food should be made at this time as digestive organs become irritated. A gentle diarrhoea is beneficial on these occasions. However, a violent condition will be harmful and should be avoided and treated naturally, if it occurs.
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