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What’s the Difference Between a Tongue-Tie and a Lip-Tie?

What is a lip tie?

Lip ties and tongue ties can cause problems, such as difficulties breast-feeding, difficulties eating and having good nutrition, speech problems, and other problems that involve movement of the tongue. This can set your child back if they have lip tie vs normal.

If your child has a lip tie or a tongue tie, it is essential that you get it corrected, especially if it is hindering your child’s ability to eat, or your child’s ability to speak. One of the more common issues surrounding tongue ties and lip ties is in breast-feeding.

Research suggests that babies with tongue or lip ties may have problems breast-feeding (Kotlow, 2013).

It is important for a child’s mouth to be thoroughly evaluated for lip and tongue ties if necessary (Kotlow, 2013).

Lip tie refers to the clinical attachment of the upper lip to the maxilla. This is when a segment of the upper lip inserts into the maxillary arch; it can be tight or loose (Kotlow, 2013).

Tongue-Tie and a Lip-Tie

What does a lip tie look like?

In simple terms, a lip tie is a congenital issue where the skin of the upper lip remains attached to the gums in a way that restricts lip movement and can hinder breastfeeding.
There are four levels of severity when a specialist is diagnosing a lip tie, with the most severe being level 4 –
• Level 1 – Mucosal
• Level 2 – Gingival
• Level 3 – Papillary
• Level 4 – Papilla Penetrating

How Lip Tie Can Affect Long-Term Dental Health?

A Lip tiein babies can affect long-term dental health because it can hinder adequate nutrition. If a baby is unable to breast-feed effectively, their diet and nutrition will be significantly poor.

Additionally, a lip tie baby can lead to tooth decay in children. If milk and some of the baby’s food is trapped next to the teeth because of the lip tie, it can be missed if it is not cleaned well. This normal top lip tiecan cause a buildup of bacteria in the area and can cause receding gums. It is crucial that parents are taught how to successfully manage the dental hygiene of their children.

Additionally, a baby lip tie may create a significant space between the two front teeth if it is severe enough that the lip tie extends beyond the gums and connects to the roof of the child’s mouth.

Can a pediatric dentist fix a lip tie?

Yes, your pediatric dentist can help if your child has a tongue tie or aninfant lip tie.It is necessary that if you suspect a lip tie newborn in your child that you take your child to your pediatric dentist to examine your child’s mouth and guide you on the necessary course of action. This will help your child address the tongue tie vs normal adults.

The procedure to correct a lip tie is called a frenectomy. This is because the labial frenulumis the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums of the upper jaw. It’s an often painless and quick procedure that usually takes only a few minutes to complete. The dentist will secure your child to the operating table and then use a numbing agent to your child’s gums to ensure that they feel as little pain as possible.

Then the dentist will use a special laser to cut the restrictiveupper lip tie tissue. This is highly advantageous over other methods because it is precise, and it ensures that there is limited amount of bleeding.

What’s a tongue tie and what does tongue tie look like?

A tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition where a child’s tongue is attached too tightly to the base of the child’s mouth. If the membrane that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too thick, to short, or malformed, it can cause a tongue tie.

This makes it difficult for the child to move his or her tongue freely and often causes issues with breastfeeding and speaking.Your dentist might give you a list of things to watch out for if you suspect tongue tie and lip tiein your child. Some things to watch out for include:

• Difficulty breastfeeding
• Difficulty breathing while feeding
• A noticeable clicking noise while nursing
• Colic
• Pain during breastfeeding
• Mastitis

How Tongue Tie Can Affect Long-Term Dental Health?

If a tongue tie goes untreated, it can result in sleep problems, speech problems, and swallowing and chewing problems. Also, it is possible that there may be a noticeable gap or space in the front two teeth or the child may suffer gum recession. A lip tie adultswill be something that needs to be addressed as it can lead to dental or gum disease, speech issues, and poor nutrition.

Can a Dentist Fix a Tongue Tie?Does dentist do tongue tie?

Your dentist should be able to help you with your child’s tongue tie. If you child lets you know that sometimes my lips get stuck on my teeth, or you see that they are having trouble eating, sleeping, or speaking, speak to your dentist today. Or, you can feel free to visit and book an appointment.

So your child does not have lip tie problems later in life, adentist can fix tongue tie with a simple procedure called a frenectomy as described above. The dentist or surgeon will clip a portion of the labial frenulumto release it from tension. Many dentists will use an anesthetic and a laser to perform the procedure quickly and painlessly.

A tongue and lip tiedo need to be addressed as early in life as practical, so that your child doesn’t suffer from any developmental or nutritional issues.


Kotlow L. A. (2013). Diagnosing and understanding the maxillary lip-tie (superior labial, the maxillary labial frenum) as it relates to breastfeeding. Journal of human lactation : official journal of International Lactation Consultant Association, 29(4), 458–464.