Do you think your child has a lip tie? Wondering about lip ties? Looking for treatment options? Then, keep reading. Here’s a look at some essential FAQs about lip ties.

1. What is a lip tie?

A lip tie is a condition where the membranes in your frenulum are extremely stiff and tight. The frenulum is a small bit of tissue extending behind your upper lip to your upper gum, and when you have a tip tie, you can’t move your upper lip easily. Usually, this issue is detected in infancy when the baby has trouble nursing or taking a bottle.

2. How common is lip tie?

Lip ties are not as common as tongue ties which affect four to 10% of infants, but lip ties are not uncommon either. In many cases, babies may have both. It’s important to note that a lip tie is not the same as a labial frenulum. A labial frenulum is a group of membranes that connect your upper lip to your gums, but this doesn’t lead to the inability of movement associated with a lip tie.

3. Can lip tie cause speech problem?

A lip tie can lead to speech issues. Children who are not able to move their lips easily will struggle to pronounce some words and sounds correctly. However, in most cases, this doesn’t happen because the lip tie is usually diagnosed before the child starts talking fluently.

Some signs that an infant may have a lip tie include the following:

  • Inability to latch when breastfeeding
  • Clicking sounds while nursing
  • Difficulty breathing while nursing
  • Falling asleep or seeming excessively tired while nursing
  • Trouble gaining weight
  • Colic
  • Maternal pain during breastfeeding
  • Engorged breasts or mastitis

All of those symptoms can also indicate other issues. If you or your child shows the above symptoms, talk with a pediatric dentist or your pediatrician. They can diagnose a lip tie fairly quickly with a visual exam.

4. What happens during lip tie surgery?

During a lip tip surgery, a pediatric dentist or potentially a pediatrician does a frenectomy on the child. Traditionally, they simply cut the membrane with surgical scissors, but in some cases, they can use a laser. Some patients are able to undergo this procedure without any anesthesia, but others need a local anesthetic to help them relax through the process.

5. What are the post-procedure protocols after lip tie surgery?

In most cases, the recovery time is relatively nonexistent. Most patients feel fine almost right away, and you don’t need to do anything special. However, after a lip tie procedure, the child’s mouth may swell a bit. Nursing can help to alleviate the discomfort for some babies, but in other cases, you may want to give your child children’s pain relievers as recommended by your doctor. Although there shouldn’t be much bleeding, you can stem the bleeding with a piece of gauze pressed lightly against the surgical site. Contact your doctor if you are concerned.

To learn more about lip ties or to set up an appointment, contact us today. At Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we offer a range of procedures, and we would love to treat your child.