The encounter of the fourth kind of…

Photo Credit: Tambako The Jaguar

A week ago, K complained that his mouth was painful. Also before that he had a mild fever.

I thought, “Oh no! Not HFMD again!”

We took a flashlight and shined on K’s mouth. And found nothing.

We felt relieved for the time being.

The next day, he complained again. But this time, he said the pain came from the gums of the bottom left of the mouth.

We saw some whitish kind of thing that looked like ulcer. Upon closer look, my wife noticed the whitish parts were “pressed” by the tooth above. The gums are swollen and sore. Upon closer look yet again, my wife counted and realized the tooth that caused pain to the gums is an extra new tooth.

For children, they have 20 teeth.

K has 21 – as a result of his eruption of first permanent tooth – the first molar – behind second baby molar. Molar is the fourth kind of tooth in mammals.

Since he had problems chewing food and to prevent any further complications, we took K to see a dentist.

The dentist confirmed that K’s experiencing teething. The pain could be avoided if the top and bottom molars came out at the same time. But things aren’t always go the way we want. The top molar came out first and it bites into the gums at the bottom – which causes the pain. When the molar at the bottom erupts, both top and bottom molars will be grinding each other. Hence, no pain caused.

It looks like K is developing the same problem on the right side of his mouth.

Double the pain.


There’s nothing we can do except to gargle with salt water to prevent infection. This might take a week or two for the pain to go.

If your child is around 6, take note of this. But it varies from child to child. I don’t remember J was having the same problem.

For more growing up stories, go to:

The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting