According to statistics, lip ties occur in 4 to 11% of newborns. If your baby’s lip tie doesn’t show any symptoms, you don’t need treatment. Though it’s not very problematic in most cases, a few babies born with a lip tie may have difficulties latching and gaining weight. So, it’s not just enough to know how often you should take your child to their pediatrician, you also need to know when to take them. Especially with cases such as lip ties in babies, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to rule out any difficulties.
Understanding a Lip Tie
Stand in front of a mirror and open your mouth wide. Feel the tissue that runs from the middle of the upper part of your inner lips to your gums. This thin piece of tissue known as the maxillary labial frenum that helps the movement of lips. The size of the frenum varies from being almost unnoticeable and stretchy to short and sturdy. Babies have lip ties when this tissue is too short or tight than the normal range and disrupts the movement of upper lips.
What are the Problems of Lip Ties in Babies?
- Common in newborns than in older children.
- It decreases mobility.
- Makes it difficult for babies to move their lips up and down.
- Poor latching.
- Inefficient feeding.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Increases the chance of early tooth decay.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lip Ties in Newborns and Toddlers?
- Difficulty latching.
- Struggling to breathe while breastfeeding.
- Falling asleep while feeding.
- Clicking or smacking sounds while sucking.
- Nursing all the time with no weight gain.
- Slow weight gain.
- Appear tired after nursing.
- Trouble eating baby food or solid finger food.
- Unexplained dental issues.
- Chance of early tooth decay.
- Mother feeling engorgement after feeding.
- Painful nursing.
- Blocked milk ducts.
You must check lip ties in babies if they have difficulty with feeding or eating. If you are unfamiliar with latching problems, you might have to look for other indications. For example, look out for visible frustration during and after a breastfeeding session. Babies who don’t have trouble latching will be happy and content after nursing. If your baby doesn’t get enough milk, it might make unhappy noises while trying to latch. Importantly, lip tie or tongue tie isn’t the only reason for your breastfeeding struggles.
What to Do if Your Baby Has Lip Tie?
If you suspect that your kid has a lip tie, seek out immediate help. You can contact a dentist who will assess the problem and help you find the right solution and treatment.
Lip Tie Treatment
Babies with lip ties often don’t have difficulties drinking from a bottle. You can pump breastmilk or give formula feed to ensure your baby gets enough nutrition despite the condition. If lip tie in babies is severe, your pediatrician may suggest manual therapy to help loosen the tissue. He/She may also suggest your special nipple shields for easy feeding. If the condition does not get any better, your doctor may perform a procedure called frenectomy where they will sever the frenum so that it no longer gets in the way.
The recovery time for this treatment is minimal and your baby should not feel any discomfort. Doctors may prescribe a safe pain-relief option for fussy babies. Do not expect breastfeeding difficulties to disappear right away. It will take time for the baby to recover and have easy latching. Take help from a lactation consultant to ease the process.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt you. It should be a pleasant experience for both the mother and the baby. Don’t believe in any outdated parenting advice from neighbors and friends. If you have any concerns, you must contact your pediatrician immediately.