A “lip tie” is a condition that some babies are born with. It means that the labial frenulum, the piece of tissue that connects the upper lip and the gums, is too short.
This can cause many issues, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. It can also cause problems with tooth and gum development as the frenulum could start pulling the gums off the bone and cause a gap between the front teeth.
Luckily, there is a fix to this medical condition and we will tell you all about it in this article.
If your child needs a surgical correction, a short labial frenulum, or “lip tie”, can be fixed by a pediatric dentist with a procedure called a frenectomy. A frenectomy is performed by cutting a small piece of the tissue to help release it. This can be done with a laser and is a painless procedure.
A frenectomy can also be done with a scalpel or surgical scissors, though a laser is the preferred method of most dentists due to its more complete elimination of the problem and less aftercare in most situations.
Laser surgery does not require a general anesthetic and can be done while the child is awake, which can make the immediate recovery easier on the parents as well as allow for the procedure to be performed on children with drug allergies.
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Some side effects can occur during the surgery and it is important to be aware of them. There is a chance that the laser procedure can cause burns in the area that the surgery is performed. If the manual cut is performed, then the after is more extensive.
Also, there is a very small chance of the condition recurring after the procedure. Older children who have developed ways to compensate for the lip tie when breastfeeding may need to relearn how to nurse in a new way after the procedure.
A lip tie does not always mean your child requires a frenectomy. However, if you notice that your baby is not gaining weight or if breastfeeding causes a great amount of pain for the mother, then having a checkup with a dentist is a good idea. Your dentist will be able to tell you if a procedure is the best course of action for you and your child.
If you have any questions about this procedure or if you want to book an appointment you can contact Dr. Sandra Thompson at Desert Kids Dental. We are extremely gentle with our little patients and will always choose the least invasive option for them.
We will give you detailed instructions on what exercises to do after the surgery to maximize the success of the procedure, and we are here in case you have any questions, worries, or requests. Contact us for more information or to book an appointment for your baby, toddler, or child.