If you’re like most parents who have toddlers, you’re constantly on the go. With their increased energy, you might assume that any fussiness or crankiness is attributed to a likely tired toddler. However, what you may not realize is that your child is actually complaining about something else entirely. Symptoms of lip tie can disguise themselves as other issues, so you may not know it is a problem until they’re seen by a dentist. Read on to learn what can happen if you put off seeing a professional about your child’s untreated lip tie.
How Does a Lip Tie Form?
A lip tie is a form of abnormality that occurs while in the womb. A piece of banded tissue attaches to the area behind the upper lip and connects to the gums. This normal growth usually stretches enough before birth that it is not an issue when a baby is born; however, for some, it remains tight, short, and restricted.
What Kind of Symptoms Can Occur?
You may not realize that your child even has a lip tie, especially if you experience no real issues during infancy. Most babies with a lip tie struggle to lap while nursing or develop acid reflux or colic. A mother’s breasts can become tender and swollen with her nipples cracking and even bleeding due to the pain of breastfeeding.
Whether your toddler experienced any of these issues during infancy, some of the most common symptoms you may notice during the toddler years include:
- Increased fussiness or crankiness
- A lack of desire to eat certain foods
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- A gap forming between the two front teeth
What Can Happen if a Lip Tie Goes Untreated?
Although you might assume that the problem will clear up on its own, especially if the symptoms are minor, the truth is that leaving a lip tie untreated can lead to serious problems for your growing child. These include:
- Poor weight gain
- Gapped upper front teeth
- Mouth breathing, which can lead to sleep-disordered breathing
- Speech impediments such as a lisp
- Problems with brushing teeth and general oral hygiene
- Inability to a bottle if they are young enough to still be bottle-fed
It can be difficult to realize that these issues might occur if you don’t seek help for your little one. However, the good news is that finding a dentist who can perform a frenectomy can help to fix the issue in a short time.
Within a few minutes, the banded tissue can be released to allow for improved oral movement that positively impacts the rest of their life.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for a lip tie. Get your child the help they need today.
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Martinez is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Scottsdale and Phoenix who is commonly referred to as “Dr. V,” Working in the Valley since 2012, she works closely with parents who are concerned about their children’s lip ties. Well-versed in the struggles these children can face, she can perform frenectomies to help improve oral development and movement so that eating, speaking, breathing, and self-esteem are no longer hindered. Contact us at our Phoenix or Scottsdale office to learn more.