Did you know that it is normal to have a fleshy attachment between the upper lip and the front of the top gum?

This attachment is called a lip-tie when it restricts normal mobility of the upper lip.

The upper lip needs to be mobile to achieve a deeper latch, and can be important to achieve a good seal to prevent air swallowing and reflux-like symptoms.

Despite the varying thickness of flesh, the images on the left are all NORMAL attachments with good mobility of the upper lip. There is no significant tension noted when the upper lip is elevated and no intervention is required.

On the right side, are images of upper lip-ties. The mobility of the upper lip is restricted, there is tension when the upper lip is elevated, and in some cases, they create a notch in the bone between where the upper front teeth will come through.

If you are experiencing feeding issues and are unsure about whether your baby has an upper lip-tie, it is worth an assessment.

In many cases where people present for an upper lip-tie consult, we do find that it ends up being a tongue-tie that is the bigger functional issue.

8-month-old – one week review post upper lip and tongue tie release

It’s fascinating to see the subtle influence the muscles of the mouth and face have on a child’s facial development and appearance over the years, or sometimes even sooner.

This young man had a long history of feeding issues, but ties had been dismissed as mild by several medical and child health professionals.

More recently the family came to see us for a further opinion as they felt something was not quite right. He was posturing his lower jaw forward all the time, and he was struggling to swallow solids.

We confirmed upper lip and tongue tie and proceeded with release.

One week post release, he was feeding better on the breast and swallowing solids easier.

Mum feels his face is more relaxed and she reports he is no longer posturing his lower jaw forward. These photos before (left) and one week after (right) upper lip and tongue tie release tend to support her observations.

Any surgical procedure carries risk, and individual results may vary. Before proceeding with this surgery, you should seek a second opinion with an appropriately qualified practitioner.

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