Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No More Lip-tie

Chicken Little was born with lip and tongue ties. I didn't know about the tongue-tie until he was probably two years old, and the lip tie was just realized last year. No pediatricians or dentists had made notice of these extremely obvious abnormalities, and sadly many children like him have difficulty breastfeeding because of these ties. Fortunately for him, we were able to get a good latch anyway and I was stubborn enough not to let the hourly feedings for the first 15 months break me down much.

This photo was taken last fall when I first discovered he
has a lip tie. Yep. That'd be a big ol' lip tie for sure.  
Breastfeeding aside, I was concerned about his lip and tongue ties for speech development and also orthodontia. He has a rather enormous overbite, and is an avid thumb sucker. Adding the lip tie into the mix making a gap in his front teeth... and well... let's just say we were not looking forward to those medical bills in the future and our dentist had joked about getting a new office out of all the work that will likely need to be done.

Last night before bedtime he was sitting on the bed playing with the hard cardboard sleeve for his Melissa and Doug cookie set. He had the tube over his mouth and was laughing into it. When it was time for him to leave so I could put baby sister Chicklett down for the night I had that tiny mama-spidey sense go off thinking that having that tube in hand while he clumsily got his way off of the bed was not a great idea. But, he made it off the bed with no issue. Then he fell to his knees for no apparently reason, my heart skipped a beat, but again... no issue. Then as he went to get up from the ground he somehow hit his face into the cardboard tube. He immediately let out a cry, came and got a hug, then went out to watch Julia Child's cooking like he does every night before bed.

After watching his television show he went to give me a goodnight kiss. I pushed him away from me and asked my husband what on earth he had fed Chicken Little as it appeared he had mashed raspberries all over his face, chin, and shirt. We rushed him into better lighting and discovered that he had ripped his frenulum lip tie. After the initial concern... there was a brief moment of joy at the realization that he had just taken care of a future surgical procedure! He just took away all the trouble of us trying to find a doctor who will use a laser instead of a scalpel, general anesthesia, and all kinds of scary things. He appear to be in no pain, and had no complaints overnight from it. He hasn't had issue breastfeeding or sucking his thumb with this new change to his mouth. So, how about that? Problem solved? Quite possibly! For more information on frenulum ties, this is a great website; http://frenectomytoday.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/hello-world/

Updated: I think I caused a little hysteria on the world wide web yesterday when I originally posted this blog. It is my understanding that EVERYONE has frenulums, it is their placement in the mouth and length/elasticity of the skin that could cause them to be a "tie" or not. Tongue ties generally limit the movement of the tongue - like a person is unable to stick their tongue out passed their teeth if they have a really tight one. Lip ties can run right down in between the front teeth and back to the roof of the mouth. There are lots of different combinations and types of ties.  If you look at your own frenulum it is probably way up high on your gums. So, don't panic at the sight of a frenulum in your child's mouth - but do some serious research about it if you have had trouble breastfeeding as this is a commonly undiagnosed issue that has a fairly simple fix! 


  1. haha! Great accident that solved a problem.

    Lilly has the lip tie...doesn't seem to be causing any nursing/eating/speaking problems. Should I be doing something?

  2. Not necessarily. Some of them are very stretchy and flexible and don't cause issue. I was only concerned about my son's lip tie because of how his teeth are settling in. The tongue tie seems very stretchy and doesn't bother him so I'll probably leave it alone.... or maybe he'll find a way to get that one too. :)

  3. I had one and also a big smile so as a kid it bothered me to the point that me fussing with it caused it to tear. My daughter also has a lip-tie, as pointed out by our pediatric dentist but unless it bothers her or interferes with her bite, I am leaving it intact. Madonna became successful with her gap and I see it as a natural thing.

  4. I just found your blog of if the KellyMom FB page. I'm 30 years old and just had a frenectomy 3 weeks ago! I never knew I had a lip tie until I saw a periodontist about a month ago.