Upper lip tie, similar to tongue tie, can pose challenges for your child during breastfeeding or bottle feeding if it is severe enough. You may notice difficulties in latching, as your child may struggle to properly grip around the nipple due to the inability to flare the upper lip outward. Pale lips and excessive pressure during feeding sessions can also be signs of this condition.
Fortunately, surgical techniques are available to effectively address severe cases of upper lip tie. By gaining knowledge about this condition and the available treatment options, you can make informed decisions regarding your child’s well-being.
Lip tie surgery is typically recommended by dental practitioners when the condition poses actual or potential health complications for your child. Severe cases of upper lip tie can result in weight loss or deficiencies in essential nutrients due to difficulties in proper feeding. Even in less severe cases, the condition can cause discomfort and frustration for your child, leading to persistent crying spells. As your child grows older, excess tissue attachment from the lip tie can contribute to dental problems such as cavities and gaps between the front teeth. It is important to address these concerns to ensure your child’s overall oral health and well-being.
The surgical procedure to reverse upper lip tie is a swift and straightforward process for the child. The dental practitioner will ensure your child understands the procedure and provide a movie or other engaging distraction. While your child is entertained, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Once the area is fully numb, a mechanical or laser device will be used to efficiently separate the excess tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. This process is performed quickly and effectively to address the lip tie and promote improved oral health.
Parents may experience some distress during the procedure, but most children barely notice it. If your child feels discomfort, nursing can often provide soothing relief. For older children, the dentist may offer a trip to the prize bin as a distraction and reward. Following the procedure, a small wound will be present on the gums, which can be alleviated by applying a small amount of organic coconut oil to soothe the area and manage pain.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to watch for any signs of infection and perform the recommended recovery exercises provided by your child’s dental practitioner. Performing these exercises six times a day during the initial weeks of healing helps prevent the lip area from reattaching to the gums. By diligently following these measures, you can promote a smooth and successful healing process for your child.
The Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics team in Canton and Marietta, GA, can assist with same-day service. Our pediatric dentists can be reached at either location by calling (770) 479-9999 to request a visit for pediatric dental care.