Does my Baby Need to Have Lip Tie Surgery?

Lip Tie Before and After

If you’ve recently started breastfeeding your baby, you may have noticed your little one isn’t latching well or having difficulty breathing while trying to feed. One reason for the difficulties might be due to your baby having a lip tie.

If you suspect that your child has a lip tie, you can flip their upper lip up and check for a lip tie. It looks like a thick divider that connects the upper lip to the gums.

Rather than trying to self-assess or self-diagnose, you can also seek out a dental provider who has been trained in the assessment and care of a child with tethered oral tissues.

What is Lip Tie Surgery?

Lip Tie surgeries in babies or children are performed to correct a condition where there isn’t enough space between your baby’s upper lip and upper gums.  While infant lip ties are usually harmless, they can lead to challenges with feeding and weight gain.

The surgeries to correct these conditions are relatively simple. For a lip tie, the procedure (labial frenectomy) involves cutting the frenulum attaching the lip to the gum. This procedure can be done with a scalpel or laser and is usually quick with minimal complications.

The decision to undergo surgery is based on the severity of the condition and the symptoms it causes. In some cases, these conditions can resolve or improve on their own without surgery. However, if the tongue or lip tie is causing significant problems, surgical intervention may be recommended as early as 3 months old.

Impact of Untreated Lie Tie Condition

If not addressed, a lip tie condition can lead to other issues including:

Ongoing Feeding Difficulties: Infants with tongue or lip tie may have trouble breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This is because the restricted movement of the tongue or lip can make it hard for them to latch on properly and suck effectively.

Physical Discomfort or Pain: In some cases, these conditions can be accompanied by discomfort or pain when moving the tongue or lip in certain ways.

Speech Difficulties: As children grow, tongue tie can affect their ability to speak clearly. Certain sounds may be hard to pronounce, leading to speech impediments.

Oral Health Issues: A lip tie can make it hard to clean the gums and teeth properly, potentially leading to dental problems.


If you are interested in getting your child assessed for a lip tie condition, contact the team at Cleveland Smile Center.

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