Teething Troubles or Ear Infection? How to Tell

As a new parent, you are constantly on the lookout for any sign that your little one may not be feeling well. One of the hardest things to differentiate between is teething troubles and ear infections. Both can cause pain and discomfort in your baby, but it’s important to know what is causing the issue so that you can properly treat it.

Teething Troubles or Ear Infection? How to Tell

In this article, we’ll discuss some common symptoms of both teething and ear infections, as well as ways to tell them apart.

Symptoms: Teething

Teething typically starts around 6 months old and lasts until all 20 baby teeth have grown in (usually around age 3). While some babies sail through teething with little fuss, others suffer from various symptoms which include:

  • Increased drooling
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping (which means parents also don't get enough sleep!)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen gums
  • A desire to chew everything they comes across

However - if your baby has a fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or diarrhea they might need medical attention.

Symptoms: Ear Infections

Children are prone to developing ear infections due their still-developing Eustachian tubes ( these tube's job is draining fluid away from ears) . The tubes — which connect the middle part of each ear(drains fluid )with the back of throat—become more vertical over time making drainage difficult allowing fluid build up inside thus leading bacterial growth beyond normal levels resulting into infection.Early signs include:

  • An increased irritability - similar symptom with those experiencing teething problems. (Difficult spot right?!)
  • Pulling / tugging at their Ear/s;
  • difficulty hearing ;
  • headache;

While adults experience intense pain during an infection,some children might not complain; If left untreated ,infection will become worse and painful.

How to Tell Them Apart?

So how can you tell if your baby is experiencing teething pain or an ear infection? Look for these key differences:


Teething symptoms come and go. They may last a few days, disappear, then return.A typical tooth eruption lasts around 8 days whiles one wouldn't see these frequent start-stop cycles with ear infections as they continue until treated medically.

Crying Patterns

If its crying bouts seem prolonged,then it might be something more than usual discomfort associated with teething.Incessantly piercing cries at night might mean it’s time to visit a doctor! While some children can tolerate the intermittent bursts of pain that come along with cutting teeth,others cannot deal with this level of discomfort hence requires your attention- visiting a doctor could allay fears in this regard.


A fever albeit moderate is not quite rare when during an ear infection unlike Teething troubles which are non-febrile except under certain situations like resultant gum inflammation.If you suspect that the temperature is related to anything else aside from gum swelling whose cause usually mild,speak to their physician/provider.

Thanks for reading thi-ahem- I mean thank you so much for joining us today on our discussion about differentiating between teething troubles and ear infections! With these tips, you should be well-equipped to make informed decisions regarding what's best baby's health!.

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