Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

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Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby gingerbreadhouse » 02 Sep 2012, 15:37

Just wondering really. The boy has a very strong top lip tie, and has quite a gap in his front teeth because of the tie. Is this a problem now or likely to be in the future? What would anyone do about it?

I think he also has a tongue tie, but never bothered getting it investigated as he BFs ok, gained weight (adequately, not massively, though none of the children are enormous so seemed normal for our family, iyswim) so it didn't seem to be a problem. Could it be?

Edited to say thank you! Sorry, didn't mean to be rude.
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby ToothFairy » 02 Sep 2012, 19:15

At the moment the gap in the teeth is not a problem, in fact it's a good thing as it means more space for the adult teeth when they do come through :D Lip ties tend to move upwards with growth, so things should improve with time. It's very rare that we see a teenaged patient with a lip tie severe enough to need removing. He may well do something like Elsie did, she fell off a chair and fixed her lip tie herself!

I don't know as much about tongue ties as I'd like to, but I think as long as he's eating/BFing fine then there's no real need to worry there either. I see quite a lot of tongue ties of varying degrees, none of which seem to cause any problems.

HTH x
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby Raktajino » 02 Sep 2012, 20:03

Sausage has a lip tie too, so I'm really interested to read your reply ToothFairy. We only noticed it a few months ago when we had her TT divided. We were told basically the same thing from the IBCLC, but it's always good to hear the same advice from different sources.

When I asked my own dentist about it, she said that they could refer her to the hospital to have it clipped under a GA once her top adult teeth have come through if it poses a problem. Really hope it does resolve itself!

With regard to the TT, I did a lot of research before we decided to get Sausage's divided. Opinions vary depending on the source of information from not posing any problem to a huge list of potential problems. I think it's so difficult to get a black and white view of what might happen because the severity of each TT is different, and it doesn't seem to be an easy thing to asses how much movement of the tongue is sufficient for normal function and development in comparison with how much movement the tongue has when it's tied.
I would imagine that if your son has BF without you feeling discomfort then his tongue has plenty of movement and shouldn't pose too many problems, but I'm no expert!

My DH has a TT and he experiences poor dental hygiene, a clicky jaw and neck/back pain. These things are all listed as possibly due to a TT, but I have a clicky jaw and don't have a TT so correlation does not equal causality.
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby herindoors » 02 Sep 2012, 20:27

Honestly this forum is the best, can I just hijack for a second- my boy has a very big gap and the 'skin' goes underneath his gum ... could this move too, Toothfairy? I've worried about this on and off for a while and just like Fullhouse I've not consulted anyone but I'm 99% sure there is a strong tongue tie too but although I'm still feeding him, as the boy is almost 15months I don't think anyone will do anything (head in the sand ... perhaps a bit)
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby ToothFairy » 02 Sep 2012, 20:33

It could move, but it's obviously difficult to say as I don't have a crystal ball :wink: I can honestly only think of two or three patients in the last ten years who have had to have a lip tie snipped.
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby Raktajino » 02 Sep 2012, 20:39

If he has opposing front teeth then I don't think anyone would snip his TT without sedating him (apparently IBCLCs value their fingertips and don't like them being bitten off :D)

The way you've described you son's lip tie sounds just like Sausage's, the skin seems to go underneath and then behind her gum and finishes where her top palette meets her gum. I've never understood how she could cut this part of it if she bumped her mouth in a fall and it's this part of it (the bit under her gum) which seems to be causing the gap between her teeth... any thoughts oh wise ones?????
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby mummyknowsbest » 02 Sep 2012, 20:42

I had my lip tie snipped as a teenager. I was having braces fitted and was told that if I didn't have it cut then the gap between my front teeth would come back as soon as the braces came off. I had it cut under general anaesthetic and it was quick and easy.

(The gap did come back in-between my teeth anyway but hey ho! :D )
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby gingerbreadhouse » 02 Sep 2012, 20:56

Thanks all, very helpful stuff. I'll stop thinking about it and just admire his lovely gappy teeth instead!

Josefifi, I think I have a TT too, it is a source of great amusement to DH how I am hardly able to stick my tongue out at all (he, on the other hand, can touch the top of his nose with his tongue!). I have a clicky jaw as well, but no (regular) headaches or back pain other than sciatica, and I can't imagine that is connected!
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby Principesa » 03 Sep 2012, 01:31

This is a touchy subject for me because I had a HUGE fight with our dentist about it.
My dad had a severe lip tie. He had it cut when he was a child (5 or 6 maybe? before adult teeth came in). When his adult teeth came in there was no gap. He never needed braces or had any other dental problems. My aunt (his sister) had the exact same situation.
I had a severe lip tie. My dentist told them that they don't clip them anymore until after adult teeth have come in because they will clear up on their own. My adult teeth all came in twisted/rotated to accomodate for the huge space in my gum taken up by the frenum. I had to have it clipped at age 11 and then had several painful years of orthodontics to readjust all of my top teeth.
My daughter has a severe lip tie. I want it clipped young. Her dentist claims that "they don't do that anymore. And it never causes permanent problems anyway. And even if it did, braces would fix it." After a HUGE argument, he gave us the recommendation to an oral surgeon. Oral surgeon took one look and said that she needed it clipped as soon as possible because it was causing twisting in her baby teeth because there was not enough room. It would only get worse if we waited for adult teeth. So my almost 4 year old is having oral surgery in November. And we are finding a new dentist for her.
My advice, if you are concerned, have it evaluated by an oral surgeon. Not all are as severe as what runs in my family, I recognize that. But an oral surgeon is more qualified to assess the severity than a dentist, IMO. (ToothFairy, I don't mean this as a comment against you. I'm assuming you are a dentist based on your comments in this thread. I mean it as a comment against the dentist I had to deal with. I hope this doesn't cause offense.)
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby ToothFairy » 03 Sep 2012, 06:08

Yes I am a dentist, and I work in a (hopefully not painful) orthodontic practice. No offence taken.
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby meerkatsmum » 03 Sep 2012, 10:12

I'm sorry to thread jack too...
TF, M doesn't have an upper lip tie from what I can tell from a quick google images search. But she does have a gap between her two top front teeth. Is that not normal in baby teeth? Her gum sticks about a bit there so it's not possible for her not to have a gap.

Okay...that makes no sense. I don't know how to explain it. I thought it was normal. Feel free to ignore me. Now I'm thinking I should take her to the dentist.
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby ToothFairy » 03 Sep 2012, 13:58

It is normal to have gaps in baby teeth, in fact it's a good thing as it means more space for the adult teeth.
Mummy to M - September 1998, D - October 2007, and E - May 2010. All BF, cloth nappies, and carried in the same sling, not sure BLW existed in the 90s though!
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby herindoors » 03 Sep 2012, 20:41

Thanks, TF and all you other lovely mama's, there are some really useful things to talk to DH about!
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby meerkatsmum » 04 Sep 2012, 00:29

So I've looked in Meerkat's mouth as she was asleep last night. Obviously I'm just guessing but looking at photos of lip ties on google and looking at M's mouth, it looks like what I thought was just gum is actually a lip tie.

I know you said it was usually not a problem for their teeth but now I'm worried about it. One of the six LC's I saw said she had a slight tongue tie but that it looked like it had stretched enough (this was at three months). Maybe the lip tie is the reason I've has mastitis 15+ times and spent the first 7 months of her life so unwell.

I think I'll head back to that LC who is also an MD to get it checked. I know I'm rambling, sorry. I'm just so upset because I feel like I've failed her by not noticing this (or realizing it's a problem).
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Re: Lip tie and gaps in teeth (TF?!)

Postby Raktajino » 04 Sep 2012, 06:39

((((meerkatsmum)))) You've not failed her at all

I noticed Sausages's lip tie the day after she was born, but I had no idea that it wasn't normal. I just thought that all newborns top gums looked like that. So I forgot all about it. It wasn't until we were going through the process of getting her TT clipped (at 12 months - I felt like I failed her by leaving it so late, but everyone told me her TT didn't need clipping and it was normal to feel some discomfort when BF) that I saw pictures of lip ties on google and had another look at Sausage's mouth.

You can only act on the information you have at the time and you can't feel guilty about what you didn't know in the past.

I hope your LC can offer you some good advice. Apparently it is rare that they need clipping for BF to be successful because the top lip only has to flange (fold back towards their nose) a little to BF. Perhaps it might be worth getting her TT checked out again aswell.
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