Oral Restriction Specialists Melbourne

What is an Upper Lip Tie?

A “lip tie”, or upper labial frenum, is the soft tissue that attaches the upper lip to the upper gums. The main function of the frenum is to provide stability and support for the mouth. It is made up of thin folds of mucous membrane with muscle fibers enclosed. It looks different in each child’s mouth, can vary in length and thickness, but tends to be more prominent in infants and toddlers.

What are some challenges that may be associated with upper lip tie?

• Difficulty breastfeeding
• Prone to injuries/tears
• Disruption to the growth of the upper front teeth, potentially causing a gap in between
• Difficulty maintaining cleanliness, leading to decay
• Receding gums

Concerned about Upper Lip Ties

What are the facts you need to know about treatment for upper lip tie?

• The tension from the frenum (the tie) to the gum will be reduced after treatment.

• The shape/ tension of the upper lip may change – may be noticeable or not noticeable.

• Once healed, it is easier to perform oral hygiene eg. easier to perform brushing, less irritation during brushing, and more easy to keep teeth clean.

• There may be scarring in individuals who are more prone to scarring.

• The gap between upper front teeth may not close after treatment – this is unpredictable because the gap can be caused by many factors (multifactorial) other than caused by the upper lip tie alone.

• After treatment, the alignment of future upper front teeth may not be straight/ aligned/ perfect – this is unpredictable because the alignment of teeth can be caused by many factors (multifactorial) other than the upper lip tie alone.

• It is an oral surgery – which involves the use of local anaesthetic (needle injection), cutting instrument (blade, scissors, laser) and suturing (a few stitches to close the wound).

• Due to the invasive nature of such treatment, a lot of children are not ready to proceed with it in the dental clinic (awake),  they will require to be treated under General Anaesthetic (GA) in hospital / day procedure centre.

• It is an elective procedure – it is not an illness/necessary treatment that must be treated.

• Some swelling, and pain will be experienced for up to 1 week.

• Stitches are self dissolvable.

• Reduced oral function eg. less talking, eating is expected post treatment for up to 1 week.

Upper Lip Tie Treatment (Laser Frenectomy)

At Kiddies Infant Care we provide the following service for children with Upper Lip Tie:

Thorough medical and functional history taking

Comprehensive intraoral examination and classification of ties

Discussion of management and management options

Performing surgical management 

Upper Lip Tie FAQs

This is entirely up to you.
The specialist will be able to define how severe, restricted is the upper lip tie for your child.
To proceed with treatment or not – it will be determined by parents subject to the advice from the specialist.

No one is entirely sure what will happen if the upper lip tie is not treated. Some (not all) children may develop these problems/ inconveniences:

• Challenges in brushing teeth as the upper lip tie is in the way and may get irritated.
• Cavities may develop if teeth are not thoroughly cleaned
• Teeth may be misaligned or have gap (but remember this is not solely caused by the upper lip tie)
• Mouthguard for sports may irritate the upper lip tie
• If there is a fall/ trauma to the area – the upper lip tie may be lacerated/ ripped
• Tension in the gum – uncomfortable.

Certainly – treatment modality is still the same. In chair (if your child can tolerate the process) or GA.

Not sure if your child has an Upper Lip Tie?

Book an appointment and we’ll go through your concerns together and see what the best course of management is for your child.