If your infant has an upper lip tie, it can affect his or her ability to breastfeed and gain necessary weight. This condition is the result of an overly large frenulum, the tissue between the upper lip and the gums. Fortunately, Dr. Everett E. Heringer and Dr. Brielle Renz can perform a simple lip tie release at their Bismarck, ND, practice. The team at Heringer Dentistry LLC proudly utilizes state-of-the-art dental lasers to increase lip movement and ensure patients experience very little discomfort before and after the procedure. In addition, as experts in pediatric dentistry, we can provide complete guidance to ensure your child’s quick and successful recovery.
What Is a Lip Tie?
A lip tie is a relatively common problem that occurs when your child’s upper frenulum is too tight, often due to excess soft tissues. In addition to the frenulum inside the upper lip, another tag of tissue anchors the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Therefore, many children suffer from both upper lip tie and tongue tie simultaneously.
The congenital (and often genetic) condition is not serious. However, it can affect upper lip movement and the ability to breastfeed. Signs of a lip tie can include:
- Your baby’s inability to latch onto the nipple properly
- Gassiness, colic, or indigestion after nursing
- Fussiness and pulling away when nursing
- Frequent need to breastfeed at night
Additionally, an upper lip tie can make nursing very painful for mothers and lead to significant stress because of struggling to ensure your baby is properly fed.
Why Perform Upper Lip Tie Release?
A lip tie release is an important procedure because it can enhance your child’s ability to eat. In turn, you may notice that your child puts on weight and starts to grow appropriately for their age range. Additionally, by addressing a tied upper lip, your dentist can reduce your child’s risk for future dental problems. For example, an overly large frenulum can sometimes cause a gap to develop between the two front teeth. Limited lip movement could also affect speech development and the appearance of your child’s smile.
We can provide necessary treatment to ensure your child receives the proper nutrition and care they need.
What Happens during a Lip Tie Release?
Our team can perform a simple, quick procedure to release your child's lip tie. First, Dr. Heringer or Dr. Renz will numb the upper lip and gums. Then using highly precise techniques, they can use a specialized laser to make a tiny incision in the upper frenulum. This incision can release the excess skin and loosen the upper lip. At the same time, laser energy will seal the blood vessels in this area. Consequently, your child should feel very little, and there will not usually be any bleeding after treatment.
Following a lip tie release, you may see some minor swelling, although this will usually go away within a few days. If needed, Dr. Heringer or Dr. Renz can suggest appropriate anti-inflammatory medications, based on your child’s age and weight. We may also show you some gentle stretches to extend your child’s range of motion in the upper lip.
Improve Your Child's Health
If your baby has a tied upper lip, or if you have noticed the symptoms of a lip tie, contact our office online or call us at (701) 255-4850 to book a consultation. We can provide necessary treatment to ensure your child receives the proper nutrition and care they need.