Lip tie is a condition that affects both infants and adults. It occurs when the thin tissue (frenulum) connecting the upper lip to the gum is too thick, too tight, or too short, which can restrict lip movement and cause a range of symptoms. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and lip tie treatment.

Symptoms Of Lip Tie

The symptoms of lip tie can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In infants, the most common symptoms include:

  1. Difficulty latching: Infants with lip tie may struggle to latch onto the breast or bottle, making it difficult to feed.
  2. Slow weight gain: Because feeding is difficult, infants with lip tie may not gain weight at a healthy rate.
  3. Fussiness during feeding: Infants may become fussy during feeding due to the discomfort caused by the lip tie.
  4. Gas and colic: Infants may experience excessive gas or colic due to the inability to latch properly and swallow air.

 The symptoms of Lip Tie may Include:

  1. Difficulty speaking: Lip tie can restrict lip movement, making it difficult to pronounce certain sounds.
  2. Dental problems: Lip tie can cause gaps between the front teeth, gum recession, and other dental issues.
  3. Difficulty playing wind instruments: Musicians may struggle to play wind instruments due to the restriction of lip movement caused by the lip tie.

Causes Of Lip Tie

Lip tie can be caused by genetic factors or be present at birth. Some cases of lip tie are associated with other conditions, such as tongue tie. Tongue tie is a similar condition in which the tissue under the tongue is too short or tight, restricting movement and causing a range of symptoms.

Treatment Options For Lip Tie

The treatment options for lip tie vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s age. In infants, the most common treatment is a simple surgical procedure called a lip tie release, in which a small incision is made in the frenulum to release the tissue and allow for greater lip movement. 

This procedure is quick and relatively painless and can be performed in a doctor’s office. In adults, the treatment for lip tie may involve a combination of orthodontic treatment and surgery. 

Orthodontic treatment can help to gradually shift the teeth and jaw into the correct position, while surgery can release the tissue and allow for greater lip movement.

What To Expect During The Procedure

Before the procedure, your doctor will likely provide you with instructions on how to prepare for the surgery, including any dietary restrictions or medication changes. 

During the procedure, the area around the frenulum will be numbed with a local anesthetic to minimize pain and discomfort. Your doctor will then make a small incision in the frenulum tissue, releasing the tissue and allowing for greater lip movement.

After the procedure, your doctor may recommend a follow-up appointment to monitor your recovery and ensure that the incision is healing properly.

Recovery Process

The recovery process for lip tie release surgery is typically quick and relatively painless. In most cases, patients can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. 

However, it is important to avoid hot, spicy, or acidic foods for a few days after the surgery to prevent irritation to the incision site.

Your doctor may also recommend performing gentle exercises to help stretch and strengthen the lip muscles after the procedure. These exercises may include simple lip stretches or sucking exercises.

Potential Risks And Complications

Like any surgical procedure, lip tie release surgery does carry some risks and potential complications. These may include bleeding, infection, or scarring. 

However, these risks are rare and can be minimized by choosing an experienced and qualified healthcare provider to perform the procedure.

Why Seek Professional Help For Lip Tie Treatment?

While there are many home remedies and alternative treatments available for lip tie, seeking professional help for lip tie treatment is important for several reasons:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: Lip tie can be difficult to diagnose, as it can manifest in different ways and can be mistaken for other conditions. An experienced healthcare provider can accurately diagnose lip tie and determine the best course of treatment.
  2. Safe and Effective Treatment: Lip tie treatment requires precision and skill to avoid damaging surrounding tissue and to ensure optimal results. A qualified healthcare provider has the necessary training and expertise to perform the treatment safely and effectively.
  3. Proper Follow-Up Care: Following lip tie treatment, it is important to have proper follow-up care to monitor healing and ensure that the condition does not recur. A healthcare provider can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the recovery process.
  4. Access to Specialized Treatments: In some cases, lip tie may require specialized treatments, such as laser frenectomy or tongue tie release surgery. A healthcare provider can provide access to these treatments and ensure that they are performed safely and effectively.

Choosing An Experienced And Qualified Healthcare Provider

When seeking professional help for lip tie treatment, it is important to choose an experienced and qualified healthcare provider. 

Some factors to consider when choosing a provider include:

  1. Credentials and Training: Look for a provider with specialized training and experience in lip tie treatment, such as a pediatric dentist or a lactation consultant.
  2. Reputation and Reviews: Research the provider’s reputation and read reviews from previous patients to ensure that they have a track record of success.
  3. Communication and Empathy: Choose a provider who communicates clearly and empathetically, and who takes the time to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Identifying Lip Tie In Adults

Lip ties in adults can present differently than in infants. It can be difficult to identify, but there are a few key signs to look out for. 

These include:

  1. Speech difficulties: Adults with lip tie may experience difficulty pronouncing certain words or sounds.
  2. Dental problems: Lip tie can cause gum recession, leading to dental issues such as cavities or gum disease.
  3. Mouth breathing:  Lip tie can cause the mouth to remain slightly open, leading to mouth breathing.
  4. Difficulty eating: In some cases, adults with lip tie may experience difficulty eating certain foods or drinking from a straw.
  5. Pain:  Lip tie can cause pain or discomfort in the upper lip, especially when stretching it.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment Options

Once lip tie has been diagnosed in adults, there are several treatment options available. These include:

  1. Lip tie release surgery: Also known as a frenectomy, this surgery involves cutting the tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and can be done using various techniques such as laser, scissors, or a scalpel.
  2. Speech therapy: For individuals experiencing speech difficulties due to lip tie, speech therapy can be beneficial. This involves working with a speech-language pathologist to improve speech patterns and strengthen the muscles in the mouth and tongue.
  3. Myofunctional therapy: This is a type of therapy that focuses on improving the function of the tongue and mouth muscles. It can be helpful for individuals experiencing difficulty eating, speaking, or breathing due to lip tie.
  4. Orthodontic treatment: In some cases, orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign may be recommended to correct dental issues caused by lip tie.

It is important to note that the most effective treatment option will vary depending on the severity of the lip tie and the individual’s symptoms.


Lip tie can cause a range of symptoms in both infants and adults, including difficulty feeding, speaking, and playing wind instruments. 

Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can improve symptoms and allow for greater lip movement. 

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of lip tie, it is important to seek professional help from a london, ontario dentist who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.