What is a lip tie in babies – Causes, signs & treatment

What is a lip tie

What is a lip tie?

A lip tie is a thick, muscle-less tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gum tissue, making any movement of the lip particularly difficult. It restricts movement due to its thickness, tightness, or both. This condition is usually misdiagnosed and can lead to premature weaning of your baby.

How is it common?

A lip tie seems like a tongue tie, a condition in which a thick strip of fabric muscle connects the bottom of the baby’s tongue to the floor of the mouth. However, experts are certain that lip scars are less common than elbows. If your baby has one type of condition, it doesn’t mean the other condition will exist as well.

Causes of lip tie In babies

There is no specific cause for the occurrence of lip tie in babies. Simply put, some babies are born with a lip tie while others are not. The condition of a lip connection can develop in the uterus itself. Although most experts believe it could be attributed to genetics alone, this theory has never been proven.

Does a lip tie in a baby mean that he also has a tongue tie?

There is no evidence that a baby with a lip tie will also have a tongue tie. In fact, the two areas of the baby develop at different times in the uterus by totally different processes. The association between these two conditions likely stems from the fact that babies will try to overcompensate for the restrictive movement caused by a condition.

Symptoms and signs of lip tie

One of the most underdiagnosed conditions is a lip tie in babies. Since its onset is rare and most of its symptoms are similar to others, lip ties usually slip under the radar. Take a note of all the symptoms that you see in your baby. By attaching your lips, your baby will not show all symptoms, even you will feel and notice signs:

In babies

Some of the signs of lip tie in your baby are given below:

  • Low locking
  • Sucking hard as he tries to create a vacuum
  • Clicking sound while breastfeeding
  • Inadequate milk transfer
  • Unsatisfactory weight gain or loss
  • Colicky
  • Gas and reflux
  • Fussiness and move away from the chest
  • Coughing, choking, or swallowing while eating
  • Chewing or biting the nipple

In mothers

Some signs that mothers will experience are given as follows:

  • Uncomfortable eating sessions
  • Mastitis
  • Low amount of milk
  • Flat folds or nipples after eating
  • White stripe on the tip of the nipple
  • Blocked ducts
  • Painful breasts

What does the tie look like in a young child

A lip tie can be categorized based on its severity. In this case, it is based on the thickness and extent of the tie itself.

  • Class 1: lip ties have no significant attachments.
  • Class 2: lip clips are primarily attached to the gums.
  • Class 3: lip clips are attached to the area where teeth will grow in the future.
  • Class 4:  lip ties are the most serious and are tied up to the palate of the mouth.

Problems to Face With Lip Tie 

Babies with lip ties can face a lot of problems in everyday life. Here are some issues they may face.

  • They can choke on feeding or sprinkling their milk, which leads to malnutrition.
  • They may have trouble gaining weight.
  • They are more susceptible to diseases like jaundice.
  • They are much more likely to develop colic.
  • They may have a hard time getting caught in the nipple and causing pain.
  • They will also feed less which can delay their development.
  • They will probably need to be fed in clusters.

Effect Of Lip Tie To Breastfeeding?

As a nursing mother, it is important to know that breastfeeding your baby who has a lip clip can be extremely difficult. Your baby won’t latch on, which means that he will not be gaining enough food per feed. Therefore, you will need to make a frequent feeding schedule for your baby. However, this frequent feeding schedule can lead to sore nipples. You may also feel pain, as your baby will put extra pressure on your nipples if they are having difficulty latching on well. He may be slightly more malnourished than a bottle-fed baby with a lip clip. Specialists generally recommend either reversing lip ties or bottle feeding the baby.

How to diagnose ties in a child?

A lip bond is diagnosed through a physical exam. Most pediatric specialists can diagnose a lip tie based on its appearance. But it is ideal to see a lactation specialist certified by the International Lactation Bureau. Visit a specialized orthodontist in pediatric dentistry for the treatment of lip conection and its severity.

How are lip ties treated?

Lip tie is treated by observing the severity of its condition and seeing how your baby’s feeding is affected. Most doctors recommend that babies with lip ties not be continued earlier if they can breastfeed normally. Doctors generally recommend that the lip bond be reversed after the teeth have developed. If the diet is very badly impaired, then you can go for lip reversal surgery before her teeth develop. The procedure for reversing the lip tie is actually quite simple and only takes a few minutes.

What happens during the lip inversion procedure?

If your doctor recommends that you tie your lips together, there is no need to panic because the operation is quite simple and quick. During the surgery, you will need to sit in a dentist’s chair and hold your baby in a position that allows doctors to access your child throughout the procedure. The doctor will then apply an anesthetic or numbing agent suitable for infants. After about 30 seconds, they will use a precision laser to cut the contour of the lips, and then the procedure will be complete. Remember to consult your doctor about postoperative care for pain relief and postoperative exercises.

Post-treatment care

There are a number of oral exercises after the procedure that can ease the pain and heal your baby. Here are some things you need to do after the procedure.

  • If you are concerned that the pain may become extreme, you can ask the doctor to prescribe pain relieving medication or ointment that is safe for a child.
  • Breastfeeding once before the procedure and once immediately after is essential, breastfeeding immediately after surgery is a natural way to relieve the pain that your little one has to face.
  • Put on more skin-to-skin or kangaroo care for your baby, let him suckle on the shoulders or palm of the hand, wear him and give him access to a clean part of your skin, babies tend to suckle the skin. their mother’s skin for pain relief.
  • If the postoperative pain seems unbearable for your child and he gets nervous or cries a lot, you can give him baby paracetamol or infant ibuprofen. However, they should only be used after consulting a doctor.
  • It is important to use a clean, sterile hand to apply organic coconut oil to the affected area. it is excellent for anti-inflammatory and relieves pain. It also helps your little one heal faster.
  • Ice the general area to numb it and reduce inflammation.
  • Keep teething toys on hand to help your baby develop good teething habits. These toys also help relieve pain.
  • Certain sucking exercises and sucking techniques for the baby can be tried after the procedure. You should have your baby try these doctor-recommended techniques.

When to see a doctor

As a general rule of thumb, see your doctor if you notice your baby is breastfeeding irregularly. It doesn’t hurt to have your baby examined once if you notice any lip tie symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can it cause speech problems in your child?

Speech problems related to the lips are extremely rare and are only possible in the most severe cases. Do not worry and consult your doctor for more information about your child’s case.

2. Can lip tie be a reason for tooth decay?

In general, babies with lip ties have a harder time caring for their mouths due to the disease itself. Although the disease does not cause tooth decay, it can impose additional oral hygiene requirements which, if not enforced, could eventually lead to tooth decay.

Remember that the lip clip is not a disease with dangerous implications and can be easily corrected. It is recommended that you do not try to treat the condition at home or cut your baby’s lip to fix it yourself. Follow your doctor’s instructions and trust him, he will make sure that your child is taken care of in the best possible way.

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