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How can I tell the difference between teething and an ear infection?

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Asked by rachelmarie1989 at 9:47 AM on Oct. 21, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • Hmmm....usually with an ear infection they run a temperature and pull on the ear. If she's had a runny nose lately it's likely the fluid from that can cause an ear infection. Teething can cause a low grade temp, runny nose and excessive drooling. Alteast this is what I've seen with my little one.

    Answer by mamaada at 9:52 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Check your child's temperature. If it is low grade it is probably teething. If it is higher it is probably an ear infection. If you are in doubt get an appointment with your doctor.

    Answer by Abbey3 at 9:53 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • The symptom are basically the same However is the baby pulling the ear or mouth. Remember though a lot of time teething causes ear infections by the drool draining into the ear. Good luck hope you little one feels better

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 10:02 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • She has been pulling at her ear. What bothers me is her right eye, which it's her right ear that is bothering her, is draining bad and it's green.

    Answer by rachelmarie1989 at 10:06 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Take her to the doctor to be properly diagnosed. It's not worth the discomfort for baby to just guess.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:52 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Some rules of thumb:

    ear infection is constant pain. If you can distract your child from the pain, it's probably teething.
    ear infections typically hurt worse laying down. So if baby won't lay down to sleep and favors sitting up, it could be an ear infection.
    ear infection may have a fever or a higher temp than teething.
    in infants, pulling at the ear either means they discovered their ear or they are teething. The pulling is becuase the pain in their mouth/gums radiates up their jaw and they are just pulling at what is close. Ear infections hurt in a different way so pulling at the ear doesn't usually mean ear infection.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 AM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • My DD runs a high fever, drools, has a runny nose, and is generally miserable when she is teething....and that is also how she acts when she has an ear ache. So I can't tell by the symptoms which she has.

    What I do is treat the symptoms for a few days and watch for any signs that she needs urgent care. To treat the symptoms I give her Tylenol & Motrin for fever, run humidifier and take eucalypsis baths for congestion, cold medicine as needed. Some of the things that I watch for that tell me she needs more urgent care are if her fever goes above 104, if she has trouble breathing, if she is getting dehydrated, etc.

    If the she doesn't start to improve after 3 days, I call the dr.


    Answer by MrsAce150 at 12:28 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • My daughter when she had an ear infection she didnt pull at her ear. How I new she was sick was when I went to get her dressed for bed she felt hotter then normally I tell by felling her back if she has a temp and kiss her forehead I she was running a 101 fever and she wasnt fussy or anything she was just very lazy and just layed on the couch. I would check her temp and if she is running over 100.5 I would give her Tylenol first if that dosnt make it go down or if it goes down a little then goes back up which is what it did with mine I would take her in normally sometimes they want u to wait 24 hrs and if it dosnt go down with in that time I would call the dr.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:16 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

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