Friday, 26 April 2013

Upper Lip Tie – Part 2

In Upper Lip Tie - Part 1, we discussed the implications of an Upper Lip Tie on the Newborn Infant and the Breastfeeding mother. However, there can be long term implications too.

▪Speech difficulties – due to the limited range of movement of the lips (and tongue), speech difficulties are more common and may be harder to treat.

▪Gap between the two front teeth – due to the tissue connecting the gum to the lip. This causes the top front teeth to have a gap.

▪Cavities – an upper-lip tie makes it more difficult (and painful) to properly clean the top front teeth, increasing the likelihood of dental decay.

▪Gagging – can cause problems with swallowing and gagging when eating solids (this is more commonly associated with a tongue-tie).

So what can be done? Referral to a specialist is paramount. This could be a Dentist, Paediatrician, ENT or Lactation Consultant. This specialist should be experienced in tongue-tie and upper-lip tie, and supportive of breastfeeding.

If revision is  necessary, the specialist will likely recommend laser treatment to release the tie. Laser is preferential over cutting with scissors as laser shows decreased swelling, pain and less likelihood of needing a second revision.

The Tongue Tie Babies Support Group on Facebook has a list of specialists that their users have positive experiences with and this can be a good starting off point. Your Midwife, GP or a Lactation Consultant may also be able to help. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with as much good-quality information as possible and make an informed choice.

No one knows your baby better that you. If a health care professional tells you nothing is wrong or it’s not that bed, but you feel there is – ask someone else and keep asking until you are heard.


Upper Lip Tie - Part 1

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