Like tongue tie, upper lip tie, when severe enough, can cause your child to have difficulties latching onto the breast or even feeding from a bottle. You may initially notice that your child cannot flare the upper lip outward to grip around the nipple on the breast or bottle during feeding sessions. Your child’s lips may even appear pale as excess pressure is exerted to create the tight seal needed to draw liquid out of the nipple.
Thankfully, if this condition is severe enough to cause a problem, it can be easily treated using surgical techniques. Understanding all you can about this condition, and the surgical treatment options available today, can help you determine the best course of action for your child’s health.
Untreated Upper Lip Tie Complications
Most dental practitioners will only suggest lip tie surgery when the condition has, or will potentially, cause health complications for your child. In severe cases, for example, upper lip tie can cause your baby to lose weight or develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies from the inability to feed properly. In less severe cases, the condition can still cause your child to feel uncomfortable or frustrated, leading to crying jags that are difficult to overcome. In later years, dental issues, such as cavities and front tooth gaps, can arise from the excess tissue attachment at that point.
Surgical Treatment Methods
The surgical process for the reversal of upper lip tie is actually quick and easy for the child. The dental practitioner will explain the procedure to your child and start a movie or other fun distraction. While your child watches the show, the dentist will numb the treatment area with a shot of local anesthetic. Once the area is completely numb, a mechanical or laser device will be used to quickly detach the excess tissue running from the upper lip to the gums.
Lip Tie Surgery Recovery Considerations
Although parents may feel a bit distressed throughout, most kids barely notice the procedure was done at all. If your child feels stress from the treatment process, nursing can often help soothe the discomfort he or she feels. If your child is above nursing age, the dentist may offer a distracting trip to the prize bin for a job well done. A small wound will remain on the gums for several days after the completion of the procedure. Applying a small amount of organic coconut oil can soothe the area and keep your child’s pain levels under control.
You can ensure the area heals properly by keeping a close eye out for infections and regularly performing the recovery period exercises provided from your child’s dental practitioner. Performing the stretches six times a day for the first several weeks of healing will help prevent the lip area from healing back together at the gums.
If you would like to discuss lip tie treatment with your child’s dental provider, make an appointment at Nia Pediatric Dentistry by calling 770-479-9999. If your child qualifies for surgical correction of lip tie, you can discuss your questions and concerns with your kid’s dentist before scheduling the procedure date and time.