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What is a Lip Tie? – Levittown, PA

Preventing Proper Oral Function

Are you worried your child’s lip tie is hindering their ability to latch or gain weight? Do you worry it will worsen over time and lead to more serious problems that can affect their self-esteem, speech, or ability to sleep? These common concerns are brought to Dr. Amar Singh and the team at Happy Teeth of Levittown each day. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help your baby or child achieve greater oral function and avoid many of the most prevalent problems (i.e., speech impediment, difficulty swallowing, inability to latch, poor weight gain, etc.). If you suspect your child might have a lip tie and want to know more about what you can do, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh.

A mother holding her baby who received treatment for a lip tie in Levittown and is now happy

What is a Lip Tie?

A happy baby wearing a white onesie

A lip tie is a band of tissue (also known as a frenulum) located behind the upper lip that appears short, thick, and tight. Often considered be a common birth defect, it inhibits their ability to move their top lip much at all, making breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and even speaking much more difficult. It is normal for infants to have a lip tie addressed early on; however, some signs or symptoms do not show until later on, creating problems for children and even adolescents.

What Problems Can Develop from a Lip Tie?

A mother attempting to give her baby a bottle, but the child is crying

Most commonly, your child will begin to exhibit the following signs if a lip tie is present:

  • Difficulty latching while trying to breastfeed
  • Unwillingness to take a bottle because of difficulty eating
  • Falling off the nipple or falling asleep while trying to nurse
  • Poor weight gain
  • Frequent colic or reflux
  • Unable to hold a pacifier in their mouth

As a nursing mother, you may also experience sore nipples, chronic fatigue because of prolonged feedings, depression, or even clogged milk ducts.

Untreated lip ties or those that do not become problematic until later in life can cause children, teens, and adults to have difficulty swallowing, trouble speaking, and develop self-esteem issues because of a lisp or gapped teeth that may form. Not to mention, a lip tie can increase the risk for gum disease, as cleaning the teeth and gum line around this area can become more difficulty.

How is a Lip Tie Treated?

A mother holding and kissing her baby who appears happy

As part of our infant oral care services, the team at Happy Teeth of Levittown believe in offering safe and proven solutions to babies, children, and teens who are living with a lip tie. Dr. Singh will be happy to evaluate your child’s oral cavity and determine if a frenectomy is necessary. This process is widely used by dental professionals to improve oral function.

Using a Light Scalpel CO2 dental laser, Dr. Singh will quickly release the frenulum (lip tie) in a matter of minutes. Minimally invasive, our team can provide sedation dentistry to help calm the nerves of anxious children. As a parent, we understand this process can be a bit worrisome, but you’ll be pleased to learn that by using a dental laser to perform the frenectomy, there will be virtually no bleeding, minimal swelling, and no stiches required. Plus, it is completed in a single appointment.