Some children are born with anatomical abnormalities that can interfere with daily life, which is why you should be on the look out for lip ties. Lip ties are caused when the lingual frenulum is wider and shorter than it should be, making it hard for your child to eat and talk normally. Here are four frequently asked questions about lip ties, and what you can do about them.
Lip Tie FAQ
What Complications Can Lip Ties Cause?
Although many people assume lip ties are nothing to worry about, they can cause problems, especially if they are severe enough to interfere with early eating. Some babies can struggle to breastfeed or bottle feed if they have a lip tie since the band of tissue can make it hard to move their upper lip. Lip ties can also prevent the two front teeth from closing, creating unsightly gaps that have to be corrected through orthodontic care later.
How Are Lip Ties Repaired?
Fortunately, lip ties can be released through a simple in-office dental procedure. After the area is numbed with a local anesthetic, dentists can use a laser cautery tool to gently release the band of tissue. These laser tools sanitize the tissue and cauterize blood vessels while it cuts, reducing the risks of infection and excess bleeding.
What Is Recovery Like?
Recovery from frenuloplasty is very straightforward, with most younger children experiencing minor discomfort for about 24 hours following the procedure. After the frenulum is cut, a diamond-shaped scab will form, but this discoloration will go away in a few days.
How Can You Prevent Future Problems?
Although rare, scar tissue can reattach frenulum tissue, which is why your dentist might recommend walking your little one through tongue and lip stretching exercises a few times a day after the procedure. If you have concerns about how your child is healing, call your dentist right away.
Are you concerned about your child’s ability to eat and talk? If you suspect that they may have a lip tie, schedule an appointment with the professionals at Alaska Dentistry for Kids in Anchorage, AK. As dedicated dental professionals who are committed to creating a warm, welcoming environment for your little ones, you can rest assured that your child will receive the best dental care possible. To learn more about their practice, visit them online or call (907) 274-2525.