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Home Lifestyle Lip Tie in Babies: Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Lip Tie in Babies: Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Lip tie is a common problem in newborn babies. It can be easily corrected by an experienced pediatrician or a doctor. But, some parents are not aware of this condition and they do not seek medical help until their child has problems with eating and drinking.

Lip tie is characterized by a thickened area of skin around the corner of the mouth. This area is called frenulum linguae. The tongue is pulled back against the bottom jawbone (mandible) and causes difficulty in swallowing food.

The condition is caused due to improper development of the tissue between the lower gum and the upper jaw bone. As a result, the tongue gets stuck behind the teeth.

Lip Ties Diagnosed

Lip ties are often diagnosed by a pediatrician or dentist who is looking for an abnormal growth of the tongue. The doctor may notice that the child has difficulty moving his/her tongue forward and backward, which can lead to problems with speech development.

Symptoms Of Lip Tie

If you want to know if your child have a lip tie, then you should read the following carefully

Some symptoms of lip tie include:

1. Difficulty swallowing food or liquids

2. Tongue thrusting out of mouth when eating

3. Drooling

4. Frequent spitting out of saliva

5. Coughing when eating

6. Sore throat

7. Swollen gums

8. Redness on the face

9. Irregularity in sleeping pattern

10. Difficulty in breathing

11. Pain around the mouth

12. Gagging

13. Vomiting

14. Sticky saliva

What Causes Lip Tie?

Lip ties occur due to an abnormal development of the muscles, nerves, or ligaments that connect the lower lip to the rest of the body. This causes the tongue to be pulled up toward the roof of the mouth. It is most common in infants but it can occur at any age. A lip tie can also affect how much saliva comes out of the mouth.The exact cause of this abnormality isn’t known.

However, there are some factors that seem to play a role in its development. These include:

• Premature delivery

• Low birthweight

• Congenital heart disease

• Hypothyroidism

• Down syndrome

• Spina bifida

• Cleft palate

• Craniosynostosis

• Strabismus (crossed eyes)

• Gastroschisis (a defect in which part of the intestines protrudes through the abdominal wall)

• Polydactyly (extra fingers or toes)

• Medications

• Trauma at birth

• Surgery

• Infection

Prevention Tips For Lip Tie

There aren’t any specific steps you can take to avoid lip tie. However, you can do these things to minimize the risk of developing it:

• Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months.

• Avoid bottle feeding.

• Give your baby plenty of time to eat when breastfed.

• Don’t use pacifiers.

• Try not to give your baby too much sugar.

• Keep your baby upright while sleeping.

• Use a soft mattress.

• Make sure your baby is well hydrated during pregnancy.

• Avoid giving your baby aspirin.

• Avoid smoking during pregnancy.

Parents should watch for signs of a lip tie early in life. If you see your baby having trouble breathing through her nose, then call a doctor immediately.

If you notice that your baby’s lips are swollen, red, or irritated, then you should seek medical attention.

If you suspect that your baby has a lip tie, then you should visit your pediatrician. He or she will examine your baby and tell you what needs to be done to treat the condition.

When should Lip Tie be treated

Treatment for lip ties depends on several factors, including:

• How old your baby is

• Whether or not the lip tie causes any problems

• Whether your baby has other conditions

The first step in treating a lip tie is to determine its severity. To do this, your doctor will ask questions about your baby’s eating habits and his or her overall health. Then, your doctor will perform an examination to look at your baby’s tongue. This exam will include looking for swelling, irritation, bleeding, and other symptoms.

Your doctor may also suggest some tests. These tests can help identify the cause of your baby’s lip tie. Tests such as x-rays, blood work, and endoscopy may be performed to find out whether there is anything wrong with your baby’s mouth.

Once your baby’s condition is diagnosed, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Some treatments are available right away, while others require more time. In most cases, however, treatment begins with the goal of preventing future complications.

Treatment Options For Lip Tie

There is no cure for a lip tie, so treatment options depend on the severity of symptoms.

There are two types of treatment options for lip ties: surgical and non-surgical.

A surgeon will remove the excess skin from around the base of the tongue. If this procedure is done before the age of 2 years old, then the baby’s teeth will grow into the newly formed space. However, if surgery is performed after the age of 2 years, then permanent teeth won’t fit properly.

Non-surgical treatments for lip ties


• Swallowing exercises

• Speech therapy

• Feeding techniques

• Diet

For example, using a special device called a “tongue depressor” to pull the tongue back into place. The device is held in place for about 30 minutes each day until the tongue returns to its normal position. In addition, you can teach your child how to swallow correctly.

Surgical treatments for lip ties

Surgical treatment is only recommended when other methods don’t work. There are different ways to perform the surgery. The doctor will decide which method is best for your child based on his/her condition.

Surgical treatment involves cutting through the muscle that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth and pulling the tongue upward. This allows the tongue to return to its normal position. There is less chance of having permanent tooth damage because the teeth don’t come into contact with the tongue.

To correct a lip tie, the doctor may use an instrument called a lip spreader to stretch out the lips. The doctor may also apply pressure with his fingers or a tongue depressor to pull the lips apart. If these techniques do not work, the doctor may perform other procedures such as:

  • Injecting Botox directly into the area of the lip tie.
  • Cutting off excess skin from the lips.
  • Removing the skin entirely and stitching it back together.
  • Removal of the entire lip tie.
  • Other treatments include using special creams or medications to reduce inflammation and pain.

If you decide to go ahead with surgery, you can expect to spend one night in the hospital. Recovery time depends on whether your child had surgery as an infant or later in life.

Using Home Remedies To Assist Treatment

Home remedies are effective in treating lip tie. The following section will teach you how to treat lip tie by using home remedies.

1. Apply Warm Compress

Warm compress helps to relieve inflammation and swelling caused by lip tie. You can apply warm compress directly on the affected part of your child’s body.

2. Take Medication

Medications can help control drooling and improve sleep patterns. These medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, and headaches. Talk to your doctor about whether medication is right for you.

3. Get Professional Help

If none of the above methods work, you may consider visiting a professional for further assistance.

4. Use Ice Pack

Ice pack is another effective method to reduce pain and swelling associated with lip tie. You can wrap an ice pack over the affected area for 20 minutes at a time.

5. Try Natural Remedies

You can try the following natural remedies:

• Boil water in a pan. Add two teaspoons of honey into the boiling water. Let the mixture cool down completely. Then, dip a cotton ball into the solution and place it on the affected area. Leave it there until the skin becomes dry. Repeat this process twice daily.

• Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and place it on the lips. Repeat this process twice a day.

• Make a paste out of one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and ginger powder. Spread the paste onto the affected area. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave it overnight. Wash off the next morning.

6. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol causes constipation which may worsen your child’s condition. If you want to avoid alcohol, then try drinking green tea instead. Green tea contains antioxidants that fight bacteria and viruses.

7. Use Toothpaste

Use toothpaste to remove food particles stuck between your child’s teeth. Also, it removes plaque build up.

8. Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash is useful in removing bacteria from your child’s mouth. It is also good for cleaning their gums.

9. Eat Healthy Food

Make sure that you feed your child healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs. These foods contain nutrients that promote healing.

10. Keep Child Hydrated

Your child needs plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Drink enough water throughout the day to ensure that they do not become dehydrated.

11. Do Not Skip Meals

Do not skip meals because doing so could cause your child to lose weight. Instead, make sure that you give them nutritious snacks like fruit juices, yogurt, and cheese.

12. Wear Sunscreen

Sunlight exposure can increase the risk of developing lip ties. To prevent sunburns, wear sunscreen lotion or use a hat when outdoors.

13. Reduce Stress Levels

Stress has been shown to be a major factor in causing lip ties. Therefore, you need to find ways to manage stress levels in your life.

14. Consult Your Doctor

Consult your doctor if none of the home remedies mentioned above help to treat your child’s lip tie.

15. Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention if your child’s lip tie does not get better within three weeks. This may indicate the presence of other health problems.

Is There Anything Else That I Should Know About Lip Tie?

Babies with a lip tie usually have other conditions, too. For example, they may have swallowing difficulties or problems with their teeth. Your child’s doctor will need to rule out these issues before deciding how best to treat your baby’s problem.

Lip tie is a common condition among infants. It occurs when the tissue that connects the lower lip to the jaw does not develop properly. This causes the upper and lower lips to stick together.

Lip tie is often caused by certain birth defects. Other possible causes include:

• Swallowing problems

• Problems with teeth

Birth trauma

• Certain medications

Most babies with a lip tie will grow up without any serious problems. However, if your infant experiences any signs of discomfort, he or she should be seen by a dentist immediately.

Can You Get Lip Tie From Breastfeeding?

Although breastfeeding is generally considered safe, it can increase the risk of lip tie. If you breastfeed your baby, you should stop doing so once your baby reaches 6 months of age.

Can You Get Lip Tie From Bottle Feeding?

Yes. Bottle feeding increases the risk of lip tie because it puts pressure on the soft tissues of the neck.

If you choose to bottle feed, try using a nipple shield. A nipple shield protects your baby from the sharp edges of the nipples. It also helps prevent your baby from getting lip tie.

Does Lip Tie Have Long-Term Effects?

Although lip tie doesn’t usually have long-term effects, it can lead to complications later in life. Your child may develop breathing problems, speech delay, and poor dental health.

Also, if your child develops a cleft lip, they’re likely to have issues eating and swallowing. This could make them prone to infections.

What Should I Expect After Treatment?

After treatment, your child should have no more drooling or difficulty swallowing. He/she should also be able to eat normally again. Your child might have some swelling and bruising around the area where the lip tie was removed. This usually goes away within a few days. You may need to use a suction device to help keep the wound clean during recovery.


Lip tie is an extremely common condition among newborns. Most children who experience this condition are treated successfully at home. However, if you notice any symptoms, seek immediate medical care.



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