Lip tie is a condition that occurs in up to 11% of newborn babies. It is a piece of tissue that keeps the upper lip attached to the gum line and makes it difficult for your baby to breastfeed effectively.
Luckily, there is a simple procedure, known as a lip tie revision or frenectomy, that you can do to fix a lip tie in your child.
Do you want to learn more about how to find a Georgetown, Frankfort, or Lexington pediatric dentist to perform this procedure for your child? Keep reading this article to know what you can expect from a pediatric dentist lip tie procedure.
What Is a Lip Tie
A lip tie is a common pediatric oral issue that affects the upper lip.
It is often seen in conjunction with a tongue and lip tie.
These are thick, tight strings of tissue that cause restricted movement in your child’s mouth or tongue, which makes it difficult to nurse, sleep, and even speak. This tissue may also be known as the labial frenulum and attaches your lip to your gums.
Typically, this string of tissue recedes and thins as we develop, but if it doesn’t it may lead to future mobility issues. Some common signs that your child may have a tongue or lip tie is if they cannot stick out their tongue, move their tongue, or touch the roof of their mouth with their tongue.
If your infant has a lip tie, you may notice that they are not able to latch properly when nursing and it may be difficult for them to gain weight.
Problems That Come From a Lip Tie
While a lip tie is a common problem, it still can cause many oral health and developmental issues in the future.
For a child with a lip tie, it may form a gap between their front teeth, can lead to cavities and additional plaque and oral bacteria, and may even cause receding gums.
Later in life, a tongue or lip tie may make it harder for your children to speak. Many sounds are hard to make if you cannot move your tongue around your mouth easily.
If you notice that your toddler has difficulty speaking, you may need to meet with a speech-language pathologist to get help with their speech issues.
As was mentioned before, infants who deal with a lip tie may not be able to suck, so it can be difficult to feed and get the nutrients they need. The lip tie can also make it hard for them to seal their mouth as they eat, which will result in swallowed air creating gas and stomach problems.
Infants who have a lip tie may also have difficulty gaining weight, as they are not able to feed as easily and they may have milk leaking out of their mouth due to a poor latch.
If you have noticed that your baby has a difficult time latching, you can ask your local dentist for a tongue and lip tie evaluation. Getting this problem resolved can help your child gain weight faster and can make feeding them much easier.
Lip Tie Procedure Process
The lip tie revision procedure is a fast process that typically has no complications. It is also known as a frenectomy and it can be performed as early as the day your child is born!
Typically, dentists complete this surgery with a laser for the best results. To begin, they use a numbing cream on the area to prevent discomfort and pain. With the laser, your dentist will gently remove the tissue that is causing the issue.
This only takes about a minute to perform, and the laser helps cauterize the tissue.
Because it is laser surgery, there is very little bleeding and it does not require any stitches. It also provides a faster recovery which allows your baby to nurse immediately after the procedure is finished.
Using a laser also minimizes the pain and lowers the risk of your child developing an infection or other complications after their operation.
There may be some residual discomfort in your baby’s mouth for a day or two after the lip tie release. However, this can be eased with anti-inflammatory medication like Tylenol.
Full healing of the lip tie revision may take a few weeks, but your child will have immediate improvement and better mobility.
What to Expect After Lip Tie Release
After a lip tie release, you may need to help your baby or toddler perform stretching exercises to prevent them from reattaching. Your dentist will provide you with stretching exercises that need to be done several times a day.
While your child may have improved mobility with their mouth immediately after the revision, it may also take a while for them to get used to the differences in their mouth.
As they try to learn how to use their mouth again, it might take some time to see an improvement in nursing and other activities. However, this is normal and you will typically see great improvement within a week or two.
Find a Lexington Pediatric Dentist for a Lip Tie Procedure
A lip tie can cause problems for your child, so you must find a Lexington pediatric dentist to fix it. Luckily, the procedure to fix a lip tie is simple and doesn’t require much aftercare.
Are you looking for a pediatric dentist for a tongue tie near me? Our team can help! We’re a kid’s dentist with convenient locations in Georgetown, Lexington, and Frankfort that specialize in tongue and lip ties.
Contact our Lexington, Frankfort, or Georgetown dentist office to learn about the lip tie procedure and schedule an appointment today!