Upper teeth not breaking through

Our 11-month-old son has two bottom teeth. His upper teeth appear to be at the surface of the gum, but they don't seem to want to break through. He seems to be in much pain, and he is very fussy. When should we expect the teeth to break through and how can we help him with his discomfort?

Question:

Tooth eruption times and patterns vary. If the lower teeth had no problems or delays, it does not necessarily mean the upper teeth will erupt in the same manner. Because of this individual variation, it is difficult to predict when the upper teeth might break through the gum tissue. If the teeth are apparent at the surface, normal eruption should not take very long. If you are noticing any swelling or abnormal coloration, have it checked by a dentist. This could be a cyst holding up the normal eruption process. Occasionally a small incision has to be made in the gum tissue to allow the teeth to penetrate the tissue. Again, you need a dentist to evaluate the gum tissue. If your son has been in this state for several weeks, you might schedule a visit soon. If it has only been a few days, you might wait another week or two to see if the teeth eventually break through on their own.

Apply Baby Anbesol to the affected gum tissue to reduce your child's discomfort. This will help numb the area. Baby aspirin or baby Motrin may also help. If these suggestions do not help or if the pain seems to worsen, don't hesitate to have your dentist evaluate the area.

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