Follow up: Our baby had a lip tie and we had no idea

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It has been 2 years since our littlest had lip tie surgery and his 4 front teeth fixed. The experience was traumatic, for me. I was terrified of him being put to sleep for this, but, there was not other way. We had to go forward with the procedure or his teeth would have rotted out of his head and down the line, the lip tie could have caused some issues. 

In my previous post, I explained how we got to this point. I never expected it or even really knew the issue with his teeth was possible. Lip ties, I’ve heard of…the teeth problem- not so much (especially with a breast fed child).

After the procedure, he woke from anesthesia faster than they were expecting…and that shocked me. We (hubby and I) were still in the waiting room. The doctor had just come out to explain everything to us and tell us what to do when we got home. She explained that his lip tie was worse than she had originally thought. It was very wide and deep. But, it was easily fixed – only thing was that the swelling was definitely worse than she expected.

With in moments of her leaving, they rushed out to get me because he was unexpectedly awake and crying for me. I literally panicked and it’s kind of a blur going back there. I was so scared and my heart was pounding. When I got to him, he was acting erratic and the nurses were trying to control him. I grabbed him and tried to calm him down, but to no avail. He screamed and screamed and never even opened his eyes. His top lip was HUGE. The doctor said it was more swollen than she expected, but that it would go down.

Anderson's swollen lip

We sat in a recovery room for over an hour. He screamed and screamed. They finally gave me the green light to nurse him. That is what finally calmed him down. I just sat there and nursed him in the rocking chair. He still had tears streaming down his face, but never once opened his eyes.

Eventually, they said we could leave. Longest ride home ever. We had to stop once so that I could hold him. 

On the way home from the procedure

The instructions we were given were super simple. Lift his top lip several times a day for a few days to prevent the tie from reattaching. WHAT?! That’s a thing?! Anyway, we did it. It looked gross, but they said the stitches would dissolve, which they did. His teeth were cleaned up and capped with crowns – the 4 in the front and the 2 molars in the back.

Six months later we went for a cleaning and his teeth looked good. But in the following few months, I noticed a dark spot on the back of his front tooth. When we went for the next cleaning 6 months later, I mentioned it. The nurse said that the crowns are silver with a white coating, so maybe that was it. This is not my area of expertise; I let it be and didn’t think anything of it. We were instructed to “watch” his teeth and that they would do the same for his six-month check up.

Fast forward to February 2020, at his six-month cleaning; I mentioned it again to the dentist and she had x-rays done. Sure enough, there was decay under the crown. I was pissed. Super pissed. We brush his teeth and do all the right things, BUT I was still nursing. We (the dentist included) don’t know the cause of his issue.

Then the dentist told me that we are going to need to re-do his front teeth. Again, pissed. Actually, that didn’t even scratch the surface. I left in tears and was so upset at that fact that we had to do this again. Not only because he has to be put to sleep, but also because it costs a small fortune. And guess what?! Still no answer as to what is causing it.

We were scheduled for the procedure on March 17th, but then COVID. This was considered “medically necessary” but we have an asthmatic in our house and I was freaked out. We put it off for a few months and decided to do it in June. During the month of May, I officially weaned him from nursing.

On June 4th, we went in for the procedure. I was the only one allowed in and had to wait in the waiting room, with my mask on. The anesthesiologist was amazing and she came out to meet Anderson and talk to me about what to expect. Then our dentist came out to go over what was going to happen.

Anderson before the 2nd dental procedure

Anderson happily went back with them and then the wait began. After about 45 minutes our dentist came out to tell me about what she found. The first tooth was salvageable and she redid the crown. Then she came back to tell me that tooth 2 was really bad but tooth 3 looked ok and tooth 4 also looked bad. I cried.

Basically, his 4 front teeth to decaying under the crowns. I cried some more. Our only options were to re-do the crowns or pull his teeth. If we re-did the crowns, there is no way to guarantee that this issue would not happen again.

I cried and cried and went to the car to discuss it with my husband. We were both in shock and had to make an on-the-fly decision that we never thought was even an option.

We decided to just pull the 3 teeth that were not done yet. I went back in to the office and sat in the waiting room, alone, again. The ladies in the office did their best to console me from a distance. They offered me tissues and we talked about “after”. I asked a ton of questions and cried some more.

About 25 minutes later the dentist came out to tell me that it was done and that he did great. They took me back and I just sat there and held him and rocked. I was so upset.

As he was waking he cried and fidgeted a bit and he was rubbing his face. His mouth looked awful – it was bloody.

We got in the car and the dentist came out with us to explain what to expect and what to do. She was amazing through all of this.

We were instructed to make him wait for food, but this boy likes to eat. As soon as he was acting more like himself (literally within 45 minutes) he was demanding food (mind you, he couldn’t eat for the past 12 hours because of the anesthesia).

lip tieI called the anesthesiologist on her cell and told her what was going on and she said “feed the boy!”. So, he ate pasta. And he ate a lot of it. By the time the afternoon rolled around, he was totally fine. Within a few days, he noticed his teeth were gone. He never got upset about it, and adjusted to eating without them just fine.

The tooth fairy bought him some cars to play with and he loved that.

I think I was more upset because he is so little with no front teeth, but he is doing great. Now he just says “my teeth are gone” and “the tooth fairy bring me cars”.

It’s crazy how they adjust so well. He is all toothless smiles and a happy 3 and half year old! He eats like a champ and talks up a storm, just with a slight lisp with some words.

Smiley toothless boy

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