I first noticed my baby’s lip tie about 2 months ago but I couldn’t get a good enough look to see the severity of it. When he turned 7 months and his top two teeth came in he finally let me in his mouth to get a better look and I was able to take a picture. To me his lip tie looked severe, but I was no dentist! I sent the picture to my sister in law who use to work in dentistry and she agreed it was severe. She recommended to see a pediatric dentist to get it looked at. She said if it needs to be revised then she highly recommends laser over cutting it. It’s a quicker recovery for baby and usually painless. I called about 10 top rated pediatric dentists and finally found one who was fairly close to did the laser revision. We had an apt that next week. He agreed that it was severe and wouldn’t resolve on its own. It was splitting his teeth, blanching (which meant it was deep), thick and low. He left the decision up to us but said he would recommend fixing it. My boyfriend and I didn’t even have to talk about it. Once we saw how severe it was we decided to get it revised ASAP while he was still young and wouldn’t remember it. If you have followed my blog from the beginning you would know I had a really hard time breastfeeding and getting him to latch. We also had a very colicky and gassy baby from day 1 along with reflux and food sensitivities. Come to find out these are all possible issues that can be caused from lip tie. Hopefully it will help some of his issues.
Thankfully we didn’t have the tongue tie as well.
Consequences of Untreated Lip Tie
If someone suffers from a severe upper lip tie, it tends to be noticed by mothers who are breastfeeding. A significant sign that the infant may have an issue with the lip tie, is that the mother will have difficulty or even be unable to breastfeed, as well as pain of the nipples, which could also lead to bleeding. A severe upper lip tie can cause a tight lip; with infants this can lead to slow growth due to the inability to flail the lip out adequately to nurse. As the child gets older it can further lead to a gap between the front teeth, possibility of tearing and causing pain due to rough play or accidents, as well as speech difficulties from the limited mobility of the upper lip.*
This was an awful experience. In the room was the dentist, his assistant, me, and my boyfriend. The dentist was doing the laser procedure. The assistant was holding down his bottom lip, I was holding his head and laser goggles still, and my boyfriend was holding his legs and hands. He was wearing a swaddle type vest as well. It only took about 15 minutes but it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. We could smell his burning skin and pieces were flying off and landing on my hand. He was screaming and I was crying. The fear and sadness in his eyes was unforgettable. The smell of his burning skin stayed with me for a day. I am still traumatized.
I don’t think baby was crying due to pain. I think it was due to fear and us holding him down. He just didn’t understand what was going on.
When I first noticed it:
The first trip to the dentist:
One week post surgery:
As you can see it’s healing well. That white tissue will turn into healthy pink tissue. Total healing is around 4 weeks. For the first two weeks we need to dab it with an antiseptic mouth rinse (to prevent infection) and pull the lip back every two hours to prevent re adherence. He obviously hates that!
The first week was rough. He wasn’t acting like himself and he wasn’t sleeping (not that he slept well before this but it was worse lol). We gave him Motrin which helped. He started bleeding the next day which is uncommon with the laser procedure because it cauterizes immediately. We called the dentist and he said stop Motrin immediately because it’s a blood thinner. We switched to Tylenol but that did nothing. Then a couple days later he started bleeding again. Thankfully this dentist was so kind and thoughtful he gave us his cell number incase we had questions or concerns. He instructed us what to do and we took a picture of his lip and sent it to him. He said things looked good. Just to keep the bleeding under control with gauze and pressure.
That one week check up was promising and everything was healing as planned. There was no need to any more follow up appointments unless we had an issue. He said we could always text him weekly pictures to be sure.
This experience was hard for both baby and parents but I know it will be worth it and it was necessary.