The tissue behind your upper lip connected to your gum is labial frenulum. If this membrane thicken or becomes too stiff it hinders the movement of the lip and is called lip tie. It is less common condition than tongue tie.

Lip tie is not dangerous for babies until they are gaining weight according to pediatric guidelines. If diagnosed it can be treated easily.

Symptoms

  • Newborns have trouble latching during breastfeeding leading to less weight gain
  • Difficulty breathing during feeding
  • Extremely fatigued while nursing
  • Usually sleep while nursing
  • Slow weight gain or lack of weight gain
  • Colic
  • Cavities may form either from milk pooling under the lip or from difficulty in brushing the teeth
  • Abnormally large spaces between front teeth

Diagnosis

Babies who have breast feeding difficulty should have feeding evaluation. If they have lip tie or tongue tie it will easily be diagnosed by the doctor. It is easily visible by naked eye.

How to feed a child with lip tie

It is easier for kids to take bottle feed if they have lip tie. In case you want to breast feed your child, pump the milk and then give it in a bottle. Consult a lactation expert for more details.

Treatment

If the lip tie is not severe then it can be corrected by therapy techniques to loosen it. Sliding your finger along the top of your baby’s lip and practicing loosening the gap between the lip and gumline can gradually improve the mobility of your child’s lip.

In severe cases a simple procedure is performed by the dentist or pediatrician. It is called frenectomy. It can be performed using a laser or a sterilized surgical scissor. According to experts it causes almost no pain or discomfort to the babies. Frenectomy is performed without anesthesia so it is a simple procedure.

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FAQs

Can lip tie cause long-term problems for my baby?

Lip tie, if left untreated, can lead to ongoing feeding difficulties and potential dental issues as the child grows. Early diagnosis and intervention are essential to prevent long-term problems.

Is a frenectomy a painful procedure for my baby?

Frenectomies are typically quick and relatively painless for babies. They may experience some discomfort during the healing process, but this is usually mild and short-lived.

How can I find a healthcare professional to help with my baby's lip tie?

Consult with your pediatrician or seek recommendations from local parenting groups. They can guide you to experienced pediatric dentists or healthcare professionals who specialize in treating lip tie in babies.