A lip tie is a tight tether between the upper lip and gum that can prevent your baby from closing their mouth and nursing effectively. Any upper lip or gum tightness can be problematic, but a lip tie can be especially detrimental to breastfeeding due to a lack of mobility within the mouth. Fortunately, a lip tie correction is a relatively simple procedure that will allow your baby to latch normally and nurse effectively.
A lip tie correction is a procedure that can help relieve several problems associated with breastfeeding, including sore nipples, poor weight gain in infants, and cracked or bleeding nipples. A lip tie is a strip of tissue that connects the bottom of the lip to the tissue of the upper gums. An upper lip tie, or ankyloglossia, can be located on the top gum, either above or below the top teeth. It can also be located on the bottom gum or lower lip tie.
A lip tie is an extra attachment of the upper lip to the gums, which restricts the normal growth of the lip. Suppose your child suffers from a lip tie and they are having difficulty breastfeeding. This condition affects about 25% of all breastfeeding babies. If this is the case, you will need to speak with a lactation consultant or board-certified plastic surgeon.
When a Baby Have Lip Tie
A lip tie, also known as an upper lip tie, is a short, thickened piece of tissue connecting the upper lip to the gum. There is a little over 2 mm of skin connecting the lip to the gum in a normal mouth, while a lip tie could be as long as 7 mm. Lip ties are most often located horizontally, though vertical ties are also possible. A lip tie can restrict movement to the upper lip, making it difficult to open the mouth wide, latch onto the breast, and suck efficiently. This can make breastfeeding a painful and slow process.
There are also situations where a nipple can be too tight. Breastfeeding a baby can be quite painful if your nipples are too tight or if the baby doesn’t get a good latch. Most of the time, this can be corrected with a nipple shield. Occasionally, a baby will be unable to breastfeed at all without having a lip tie corrected. Your doctor might even recommend lip tie surgery to help improve your baby’s latch.
During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, a short lip tie can be especially troublesome. This can cause many babies to experience pain, difficulty latching on to the breast, and have a preference for bottle-feeding.