Lip Tie

Lip Tie

Lip tie is a condition where the thin band of tissue connecting the upper lip to the gum line is unusually tight or thickened, potentially restricting the movement of the upper lip. This can lead to challenges with breastfeeding in infants, difficulty forming a proper seal around a bottle or breast, and may contribute to dental issues and speech difficulties in older children and adults. Treating lip ties through procedures like frenotomy or frenuloplasty can improve breastfeeding success, promote proper oral development, and enhance speech clarity, ultimately leading to improved oral health and overall well-being. 

The Causes of Lip Tie 

Lip tie, a condition characterized by an abnormally tight or thickened band of tissue connecting the upper lip to the upper gum (labial frenulum), can have multifactorial origins. While the precise cause of lip tie is unclear, several factors may contribute to its development. Genetic predisposition plays a significant role, as lip tie can run in families. Additionally, abnormalities in fetal development during gestation may lead to variations in the formation of the oral structures, including the labial frenulum. Environmental factors such as exposure to certain medications, toxins, or teratogens during pregnancy may also influence the development of lip tie.

Furthermore, conditions affecting connective tissue development, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome, may increase the likelihood of lip tie. Overall, the etiology of lip tie is complex and may involve a combination of genetic, developmental, and environmental influences. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the underlying causes of this condition and its potential predisposing factors. Contact us today! 

Symptoms of Lip Tie 

  • Breastfeeding difficulties, including poor latch and inadequate milk transfer 
  • Increased frequency and duration of feedings in infants 
  • Weight gain issues or failure to thrive in infants 
  • Maternal nipple pain and damage during breastfeeding 
  • Engorgement and mastitis in breastfeeding mothers 
  • Tooth decay and cavities due to difficulty maintaining oral hygiene 
  • Gum inflammation and periodontal issues 
  • The prominent gap between the upper front teeth (diastema) 
  • Speech impediments or delays in speech development 
  • Restricted lip movement affecting articulation of sounds 
  • Challenges in brushing and cleaning upper front teeth 
  • Food trapping leads to bad breath and oral hygiene issues 
  • Ongoing dental problems such as cavities and gum disease in adults 
  • Orthodontic issues, including persistent diastema 
  • Reduced confidence due to speech difficulties 
  • Mouth pain or discomfort associated with tight or thick frenulum 

The Treatment Options for Lip Tie 

Laser Frenectomy 

Laser frenectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed by the dentist in Hagerstown, MD. It uses a soft tissue laser to release the tight or thick labial frenulum. This precise and gentle approach offers several advantages, including minimal discomfort, reduced risk of bleeding and infection, and faster healing compared to traditional surgical techniques. Laser frenectomy is typically performed in a dental or pediatric office and can often be completed in a single visit. 

The Benefits of Laser Frenectomy 

  • Minimal discomfort during and after the procedure 
  • Reduced risk of infection and bleeding 
  • Faster healing times 
  • Precise cutting with less damage to surrounding tissues

Traditional Frenectomy 

In some cases, a traditional frenectomy may be recommended to address severe or complex lip tie issues. This surgical procedure involves an incision in the labial frenulum to release the tension and allow proper lip movement. While effective, traditional frenectomy may require local anesthesia and stitches, and it may result in longer healing times compared to laser frenectomy. 

The Benefits of Traditional Frenectomy 

  • Effective for severe cases 
  • Does not require special equipment 
  • Proven long-term results 


Frenuloplasty is a more extensive surgical procedure used by our dentist at Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to address severe cases of lip tie that cannot be adequately corrected with a frenotomy alone. In this procedure, the frenulum is surgically repositioned or reconstructed to allow for greater flexibility and range of motion. Frenuloplasty may be recommended when conservative measures and frenotomy are insufficient to alleviate symptoms or when additional structural correction is needed. 

The Benefits of Frenuloplasty 

  • Suitable for severe cases where frenotomy is insufficient. 
  • Provides more significant improvement in lip mobility and oral function. 
  • It can also address cosmetic concerns by improving the appearance of the upper lip and reducing gaps between teeth. 
  • Reduces the likelihood of recurrence or persistent symptoms. 

Myofunctional Therapy 

Myofunctional therapy in Frederick, MD, is a non-invasive approach to improve the function and coordination of the muscles involved in swallowing, breathing, and speech. This therapy may be recommended as part of the treatment plan for lip tie, particularly in cases where functional deficits persist despite surgical intervention. Myofunctional exercises can help strengthen and retrain the tongue, lips, and jaw muscles, promoting optimal oral function and stability. 

The Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy 

  • Non-invasive approach 
  • Improves overall oral function 
  • It can be used in conjunction with other treatments 

Lip ties can present challenges for individuals of all ages, impacting breastfeeding, oral hygiene, and speech development. Visit Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons at 6550 Mercantile Drive E Suite 101, Frederick, MD 21703, 1144 Opal Court, Hagerstown, MD 21740, or 1007 Sushruta Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25401, to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on individual needs and goals, paving the way for improved oral health and well-being. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (301) 694-0870, (301) 733-2500 or (304) 263-0991.


6550 Mercantile Drive E Suite 101, Frederick, MD 21703

Phone: (301) 694-0870


  • MON7:00 am - 3:00 pm
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  • WED7:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • THU7:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • FRIBy appointments only
  • SAT - SUNClosed
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1144 Opal Court, Hagerstown, MD 21740

Phone: (301) 733-2500


  • MON7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • TUE7:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • WEDClosed
  • THU7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • FRI7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SAT - SUNClosed
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1007 Sushruta Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: (304) 263-0991


  • MONBy appointments only
  • TUE - WED7:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • THU7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • FRI7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SAT - SUNClosed
Contact Us