Ear pain is not the first symptom you think of when talking about teething but there are babies who suffer from earache as their new teeth emerge. This is sometimes accompanied by a runny nose although that is deal with separately. Find out more in our teething and runny nose article. But, earache can be symptomatic of an ear infection so don’t rely on that alone.

Your baby may tug at their ears or play with them. This is a response to pain passing from their teeth, through their jaw and towards their ears. This is especially noticeable when the molars are breaking through as this is usually more painful than with any other type of teeth. So, your baby will rub their ears and/or cheeks as a way of relieving the pain and discomfort.

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

Teething occurs at intervals which mean that your baby will have bouts of pain, sore gums, crankiness and ear pain. This is accompanied by a slight rise in temperature and a feeling of being unwell or ‘out of sorts’.

Your baby’s hearing is not affected, thankfully!

An ear infection causes pain which often worsens over time. It causes a fever and other symptoms and affects the hearing as well. Dull or muffled hearing is usually the result due to the ears becoming blocked as a result of a build-up of fluid during this infection. Some parents find that their baby develops earache and a runny nose when their top teeth are breaking through. But their baby experiences nausea, diarrhoea and a loss of appetite when their bottom teeth are emerging.