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What is a Lip-Tie?

Updated: May 1


A lip tie diagnosis and division is a very grey area in UK; USA practitioners divide alongside a tongue tie release, but current research, inclusive of labial and buccal ties does suggest that isn't necessary.

My understanding is that issues with lip-ties are more dentally related and regular dental visits as normal and routine are suggested. A lingual lip-tie is normal anatomy-everybody has one-and they tend to recede as one grows anyway-particularly when adult teeth come through.

However, should you suspect your little one has one, once you do start weaning onto solid foods: be sure to remove any food debris from either side of the tie as held against the gum or tooth may cause decay.

There is also new research I read recently that suggested that even if a lip tie was divided, unless bone was removed then it would usually reform/reattach anyway as the upper lip has not technically got to move in order to allow for a good nutritional intake. It is also a very vascular area so blood loss is generally higher in comparison to most tongue-tie releases. The best profession to get further info on this is the infant’s dentist or an oral surgeon qualified in this area as they can address or signpost any issues. Some oral surgeons and dental surgeons may consider a division should they agree it is impacting the individual's growth.

It is also worth mentioning that many perceived lip tie problems are actually tongue tie related-and once tongue function reaches optimum motility the symptoms alleviate. Sometimes a lip tie can affect the ‘vacuum draw’ of getting breast into a correct breast feeding position but this does not prevent a successful pain-free breastfeed, can be addressed with correct positioning and attachment techniques, and can be subjective.

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© Diana Warren IBCLC, RGN

D-Restricted Ltd

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