Although it can affect breastfeeding most traditional doctors cannot recognize a lip tie. The initial moments after birth when the baby is placed on the mother’s chest and instinctively tries to latch can be magical. However, toddlers with a lip tie can have frustrations when breastfeeding and can be a frustrating experience for the mother as well.
If you are struggling and trying to understand whether your baby has a lip tie we suggest you continue reading to understand everything you want to know about rectifying this common issue that is increasingly being observed in babies.
A lip tie is a case when a piece of tissue without muscles that connects the upper lip to the upper gum restricts the mobility of the mouth because of its thickness, tightness, or both.
Concrete evidence is not available to explain why a lip tie occurs but many studies have suggested that the condition is like a tongue tie. Evidence is emerging that genetics have a role to play in the formation of the mouth and the lips. It is believed that the MTHFR gene is responsible for the formation of the mouth and the lips and toddlers with certain types of MTHFR mutations are a sevenfold risk of developing a cleft palate. More studies need to be conducted about MTHFR mutations but researchers are believing that this particular genetic mutation is more common in Caucasian and Asian populations. It is significantly lower in black populations and even rarer in American Indian populations.
The dental office in Salt Lake City which is offering lip and tongue ties treatment confirms that a lip tie is less common than a tongue tie which is a condition where a short and tight piece of tissue beneath the tongue restricts its range of motion.
Breastfeeding can be affected by tongue-tie because of the inability of the tongue to move up. However a lip tied baby will also have trouble with breastfeeding because it is difficult to flange the upper lip.
If your baby has not been evaluated for a lip tie and you are noticing the following signs it may be necessary to talk to a health care provider and explaining the symptoms. If the baby has a tie they may be:
The mother may also experience:
The baby can be taken to an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant who has received the training needed to diagnose lip and tongue ties or a holistic dentist who has the experience for diagnosing and treating lip ties. The child’s pediatrician may also be considered for the evaluation with the understanding that some doctors have not received the training needed for diagnosing a tie or its severity in babies.
Breastfed babies with an uncorrected lip tie significant tooth decay can develop in the upper front teeth of the baby. This is because this condition prevents any remaining milk from draining from the area between the upper lip and the gum to cause bottle rot. The Dental Office in Salt Lake City recommends paying extra attention to oral hygiene when the upper front teeth erupt to ensure no milk remains in the baby’s mouth after feeding. If signs of enamel wear are observed like white spots or discoloration a dental visit will become necessary to determine a plan of action for better oral hygiene and to understand whether any corrective treatment is needed.
If the baby has been diagnosed with a tie that is not affecting breastfeeding doctors recommend not to subject the child to a lip tie reversal. However, if the condition is interfering with the breastfeeding a revision will be suggested regardless of the severity of the condition.
Parents that decide to go ahead with a lip tie reversal and tongue ties must find a holistic dentist who specializes in these procedures. The dentist must also be capable of providing craniosacral therapy if needed. A referral can also be requested from the pediatrician of the child who can guide the parents appropriately.
Treating lip and tongue ties has become easier with the introduction of laser treatment that reduces the chances of excessive bleeding or discomfort for the baby and can be completed in just a few minutes. The healing time after the procedure is generally just a few days and the child may display some discomfort and demand extra care. However, it is a good idea to use this time to give the baby some quality time with extra love and attention.