Drooling - Oh the drool. This can range from a slow trickle to the Niagara Falls of slobber (we're dealing with Niagara over here). Can be accompanied by a nice little rash/chafing from all the excess moisture.
Irritability/crying - Your happy baby suddenly not so happy? And by 'not happy' I mean channeling the girl from the Exorcist? If you've accounted for all other things (hunger, fatigue, needing changed etc) then blame the teeth. This is totally a socially acceptable excuse for your child acting like a jerkface. Ya I said it, you'll thank me later when you bust it out.
Swollen gums (visible teeth below gums) - You can actually see the suckers before they make their grand entrance. Unfortunately, sometimes (as in our case), they rest below the surface taunting you for days, weeks and even months. MONTHS! Just because you can see them coming, doesn't mean they're popping out any time soon. Awesome.
Eating all the things - If your little pumpkin is grabbing all the things and chewing on them, he or she is probably teething... or hungry, in which case, give the kid some food would ya.
Biting - Picture this: you're nursing your sweet little squishy babe and all of the sudden a shooting pain from your nipple. You look down and your little monkey's gummy jaw is clamped down hard on your nipple. He pulls while biting with a big toothless grin. No, he's not being spiteful (or is he?), he's probably teething. This isn't limited to breasts, teething babies will want to bite everything, your finger, your nose, the remote, if it's near their mouth, they want to chomp on it.
Grabbing ears/rubbing face - Everything is connected and when babies teeth they often feel it in their ears. Be careful with this one though because it could also be a sign of an ear infection (which some babies are more prone to, especially when they're teething).
Decreased appetite - Baby refusing food? Could be a sign that the pearly whites are on their way. I had one child that would go on a hunger-strike every time a new tooth showed up. The other child? Kid would eat 24/7 no matter what was going on.
Trouble sleeping - Sorry, but it is what it is. I know, it seems that EVERYTHING babies go through cause an interruption in their already fragmented sleep. Because it does. Teething is no exception. Some babies who were great sleepers will wake up more frequently or have a harder time settling. The already crappy sleepers? Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, it does...
What about fever and diarrhea? Most doctors (including Dr. Google) will tell you that these are NOT signs of teething; however, many moms disagree (including this one). Mini-me ALWAYS got a mild fever (101 or under) when cutting teeth and I know a lot of mothers who say their littles had diarrhea right before the arrival of a tooth (and it seems that little man is following this path). If your baby has either of these, it could be teething but you'll want to keep an extra close watch because it could be something else (and a good time to check with a doctor... not the Google one).
Remember, all babies are different. Some will experience ALL of the signs and some you won't know anything was happening until there's suddenly a tooth where there wasn't one before (if the latter is the case, don't tell your mom friends, they might hate you). Some babies breeze through teething, others, not so much. If you are concerned or just unsure, always contact your doctor.
NOW the BIG question? How do I help my teething baby? Worry not my friends, I'll be sharing that next Friday!!
**FYI: I'm no doctor and this is NOT medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern, ask someone with a medical degree**