Although not clinically proven, many parents have drawn a correlation between teething and vomiting in children. Children appear to vomit more often when teething, along with having other side effects, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, fever, and rashes. Multiple theories have been proposed explaining why children vomit more during the teething stages. These theories range from stomach enzymes to viral infection or stress.
The stress theory links teething to vomiting through the pain, confusion, and aggravation a child suffers during teething. Some suggest that when the child grows too upset, he may stress himself into vomiting. The more painful the teething stages, the more likely the child is to get sick. Children may also display lack of appetite.
As another possible cause for vomiting, stomach enzymes are tied to diarrhea and drooling. Many believe that the excessive drooling during teething builds up acidic enzymes in the mouth and stomach. When these enzymes aggravate the child's digestive system, they may cause diarrhea. Additional buildup and stomach irritation can supposedly lead to vomiting and an upset stomach.
Another theory cites viral or bacterial infections as the link between the two. During teething, children are very likely to put their hands or foreign objects in their mouths. This is an instinctive attempt to relieve the pain in their gums by gnawing on fingers, teething rings, and even the living room furniture.
If those objects are not clean, they may transfer viruses or bacteria into the child's mouth. If the infectious matter is swallowed, it can cause a cold, the flu, or any number of ailments with symptoms like fever and vomiting. Although teething does not directly cause the vomiting, it can still be claimed as an indirect source.
Still other theories claim there is no connection. Very young children are likely to vomit on a regular basis, and normal vomiting may occur in tandem with teething to make it seem like a false symptom. Monitoring the rate of vomiting before and during teething can help to establish a baseline for an individual child.
Children suffer different symptoms during teething, so what may be normal for one child could be abnormal for another — making it difficult to confirm a connection between teething and vomiting. Some children may vomit excessively during teething, while others may not do it at all. Regardless of the cause, if a child begins throwing up more than normal, the parent should seek the aid of a medical professional.