Lip ties are more easily recognized than tongue ties. This occurs when the lip is tethered to the upper gum. While most infants have some degree of lip attachment to the gums, if the attachment is large or tight enough it can begin to restrict movement and cause problems feeding.

At Lasertots, we focus in a variety of tethered oral tissue conditions, such as tongue and lip ties. Our experienced dentist use soft tissue dental laser equipment to quickly treat lip ties in children and infants with minimal discomfort.

Keep reading below to learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for lip tie; or, get in touch with us to book a consultation with our dentist today.

Signs and Symptoms of Lip Tie

The most obvious sign of a lip tie is the visual appearance of a tight frenulum attaching the lip to the upper gums. This can be easily seen by folding up the upper lip.

Depending on severity, a lip tie may not cause any problems. However, depending on how tight the tie is, it may cause significant problems with feeding and tooth brushing, and speech as well as cosmetic concerns.

Symptoms of Lip Tie in Babies

Some specific issues when it comes to feeding – specifically breastfeeding – that a baby with lip tie may struggle with include:

  • Majority of feeding issues are tongue tie related but in a few individuals the lip tie may also play a factor
  • The lip tie may not allow for an adequate seal during feeding and can cause feeding blisters as well as air intake
  • The lip should rest passively on the areolar area of the breast and not be curled in
  • A lip tie can cause a gap (diastema) between the front teeth

These issues can prevent your baby from getting enough to eat, causing other significant health problems.

Other noticeable symptoms an infant with lip tie may present are:

  • Gassiness
  • Colic
  • Reflux and vomiting
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Gap between teeth (later date)
  • Cavities due to inability to brush front teeth due to discomfort from tooth brush trauma
  • Some speech sounds require lip competence and a lip tie may cause some speech problems

Symptoms Experienced by Breastfeeding Parents

Majority of breastfeeding problems are related to tongue ties and not lip ties. However many families are referred to our Clinic regarding a lip tie and a tongue tie is often diagnosed to be the primary problem.

Lip ties will often resolve themselves as the jaw grows to accommodate teeth. Not all lip ties need to be released. Often lip tie release can be delayed until the permanent teeth erupt (age 7-9 years old).

In some instances lip ties do interfere with nursing or speech and it is important to have this assessed by a dentist who is well-versed in tethered oral issues.

When to Seek Treatment for a Lip Tie

For parents, it is important to remember that many infants have some degree of lip tie. In many cases, an infant or child’s lip tie will be mild and will not interfere with normal activities or growth, and treatment is only necessary if problems begin to arise.

Make sure to let your child’s dentist know of any symptoms you or child have been experiencing. If you see or feel a lip tie in your baby, it’s important that you consult with an experienced dentist to see if treatment is needed.

How Lip Tie is Treated

Soft tissue dental laser is a safe, effective and comfortable treatment for tethered oral tissues, including both tongue and lip ties. Quick and minimally uncomfortable, this advanced treatment “vaporizes” the tied tissue and releases the lip so that your baby can feed and grow regularly.

Is Dental Laser Treatment the Best Option for my Child?

While both scissor/scalpel and laser treatments have their benefits, dental laser can provide a safer and more comfortable option for your child. Performed by our experienced dentist, this treatment comes with several benefits, including:

Minimized Bleeding and Risk of Infection

Dental lasers do not cauterize. Cauterization is burning the tissue which can cause post-operative discomfort. A dental laser uses a highly focused laser beam that vaporizes tissue with a high water content.  In addition, it sterilizes the tissue immediately as they work through the tie. This means that lasers are able to control bleeding and minimize the risk of infection.

Speedy Recovery

Because dental lasers vaporize and sterilize the tissue as they work, it actually helps to stimulate bio-regeneration and healing. When lasers are used to release a lip tie, little to no scar tissue is formed, allowing for a speedier recovery.

Have you seen or felt a lip tie on your infant or child? If you suspect your child may have a lip tie, it’s important that you speak to an experienced dentist to see if they need treatment. Get in touch with us today to learn more about lip tie and book a consultation with our dentist.