For some people, having a stiff upper lip goes beyond having a certain degree of stoicism in the face of adversity. For some, it’s literal. Having a lip tie can make the lip less mobile, or stiff. Lip ties are sorted into different classes that depend on the way the anatomy all came together during development.
Class 1 lip ties are also called mucosal ties. They are the least severe class of tie. In the case of a class 1 lip tie, there is no significant attachment between the lip and the gum. There isn’t usually any limitation in regards to lip movement unless the frenulum is especially short and tight.
Class 2 lip ties are called gingival ties. With this class of lip tie, the frenulum that attaches the lip to the gum attaches mostly into the gum tissue.
Class 3 are considered papillary ties. In the case of a class 3 upper lip tie, the attachment will be where the upper front teeth will grow in. In the case of a class three lower lip tie, the attachment is where the lower front teeth will grow in.
Class 4 lip ties are also called papilla penetrating ties. This class is the most severe class of lip tie. In the case of a class 4 lip tie, the frenulum attachment extends behind where the front teeth will grow in and to the palate of the mouth. This can result in a separation between the front teeth. This can lead to concerns about the additional risk of tooth decay.
If a lip tie restricts the movement of the lip, it can cause problems with breastfeeding. The baby may have a hard time getting a good latch, resulting in trouble eating and a painful experience for the mother.
It’s important to remember that the class any given lip tie falls into is not necessarily an indicator of whether or not corrective action needs to be taken. It can be tough to tell how much of an impact a tie will have later in life, which means that the need for corrective measures is a little less straightforward than just figuring out what class of lip tie is present. A pediatrician or dentist should have a much better idea of what is likely to be best for your child.
Not quite sure what your child needs? Let us help you with Tongue and Lip Tie Management.