Our youngest is 18 months old and we just found out that he has a lip tie. We were floored- we had no idea that this was even a thing. We’ve heard of being tongue tied, but not lip tied.

What is a “Lip Tie”?

A lip tie is when the piece of tissue connecting the upper lip to the upper gum restricts the mouth’s mobility because it is too thick, too tight, or both.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering how did you discover this

How it began

I’ll start from the beginning….when my baby started getting his teeth, we began brushing (or attempting to brush) his teeth. But what a struggle. I would have to pin him down while he kicks, cries and bats the toothbrush the whole time. It is a mission! I thought that he was just being a pain and did not want me in his mouth or to be held down. I had no idea that there was more to what was going on.

A few months ago my husband noticed that his 4 front top teeth looked a little discolored. But because it is SO hard to get into his mouth, I hadn’t noticed. I really did not think much of it until my husband forced his way into his  mouth to rub his teeth. He asked me to do the same thing so that I could feel it, because he was worried that there was something wrong. To my surprise, there was an indentation on his tooth.

We had no idea what it was or what was going on, so we called a pediatric dentist.

Before they even evaluated him, they explained that it could be “bottle rot”. He has always been exclusively breast fed, and now he eats regular food…and a lot of it, but he still nurses. It seemed to me that nursing at night was causing this.

They also explained that they typically see this with lip tied and tongue tied babies. But because I did not have any problems breastfeeding, it probably was not the case because we would have likely known about this already.

They began the exam and immediately noticed that he is lip tied! (The first thing they did was lift his upper and lip and BAM! Lip Tied!) I could not believe it because we had ZERO nursing issues. He is 18 months old…how could we just now find this out? He somehow was able to master breastfeeding even though he had this problem. We never had a clue.

The lip tie was causing breast milk to pool in his upper lip over his front teeth while he slept. Thus causing tooth decay, A.K.A. bottle rot.

What causes a “Lip Tie” and how common is it?

Though there is not solid data to explain why a lip tie happens, multiple studies suggest that a similar condition, tongue tie, is hereditary.

Some doctors say that a lip tie is much less common than a tongue tie. A tongue tie is more likely to affect breastfeeding because the tongue is not able to move up. Regardless, a lip-tied baby can have trouble breastfeeding because it is harder to flange the upper lip.

According to KiddsTeeth.com, there are four different classifications of lip ties and each looks a little different based on the severity of the lip tie.

Classification #1 No significant attachment

Classification #2: Attachment mostly into the gum tissue

Classification #3: Attachment where the future upper front teeth will be

Classification #4: Attachment that extends to the palate of the mouth


I felt like a terrible mother. How did I not notice? It was my fault for nursing him to sleep. I should have paid more attention to his teeth. The list goes on. I felt awful. 

Once they began explaining how we can treat this, I got even more upset. Apparently, there are several stages to the bottle rot that is from his lip tie.

Stage #1: White marks on the teeth

Stage #2: Brown spots as decay begins

Stage #3: Decay that causing the enamel to wear down

We are Stage #3. When he smiles and talks you don’t see or even really notice anything on his teeth. And like I mentioned earlier, we brush his teeth. I pin him down and he screams….and guess why??? Because it HURTS the lip tie area. Again, the guilt.

The treatment

We were able to begin the treatment of Anderson’s bottle rot immediately. The dentist did a fluoride treatment on him and we go back for a second treatment in 8 weeks. We have to switch from non-fluoride baby toothpaste (usually recommended for use until 24 months) to the same toothpaste that our 5 year old uses (which has fluoride). We now have to brush his teeth 3 times a day and wipe his teeth after he nurses. Luckily, he does not drink anything in a cup other than water, so that is helpful. As long as we can stop the bottle rot from developing more, we will be OK. In the event that it gets worse after the 2 fluoride treatments, we go to plan B.

Plan B is not something that I am looking forward to. Plan B requires sedation to treat the decay on the surface of his front teeth. I am not interested in this. But if it is needed, then I will need to get over it. Additionally, they can kill the area until treatment, but that will turn his teeth black in that area.

Let’s pray that the treatment works and that Plan B is not an option.

After all the bottle rot talk we were still left wondering what we do about the lip tie. Due to the fact that it has not been an issue with breastfeeding or talking up until this point, we are going to treat the bottle rot first and deal with the lip tie later. But, it could potentially be a problem down the road (it can cause a gap and be problematic if braces are needed). The way they treat the lip tie is simply lasering the area. Super simple fix with minimal pain and recovery.

Please tell me that I am not the only one that has gone through this. My 4th child and this is a first for me.

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Eryn is a health conscious momma of four amazing kiddos ranging in age from 7 to 21! She is a marketing maven and mentor with over 20 years of business development and marketing under her belt. She beyond obsessed with all things purpose, giving back, wellness, and marketing. Living in Orlando for over 17+ years, this Flo-Grown, Miami native has fallen for The City Beautiful and all it has to offer! From the local arts, to the craft beer and foodie scene, to all of the non-profits and giving opportunities, Eryn is in love with all things Orlando! Her connection with local moms, businesses of Orlando and philanthropy goes deep. Eryn uses her 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 to 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 & 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 other mompreneurs in life & business. Eryn is also an accredited Integrative Wellness Consultant, Purpose Coach and certified Social Entrepreneurship/Small Business Coach, and a low tox living advocate. She strives to help other women prosper and flourish in life and business and she thrives on creating authentic partnerships and building relationships. Her motto is "be on purpose" and she lives to better the lives of others.


  1. Hi Toshia! I’m glad it is helping other mamas. I’ll be writing a follow up post on the issues we are now facing. Prayers to you during this craziness. ❤️

  2. Oh my god! This is the exact issue my 18 months old son is facing as well!!!! Literally every little detail you described applies to us 😭 we are starting the silver treatment that will turn his teeth black untill he is older and able to get it treated under local anesthesia. I’m not ready to put him through general anesthesia 😢 I asked his dentist of breastfeeding had something to do with but they told me there is really no way to say for sure. I’m thinking of weaning cold turkey and dealing with sleepless nights so this situation doesn’t happen again. I feel extremely guilty about not even noticing he had a lip tie.

    • Hi Sophie! We went straight to the procedure for the lip tie and teeth at 18 mos. He is almost 3 and a half now and we had to do it again…. I kept nursing (literally just stopped before the procedure) and b/c they couldnt say what the problem with his teeth really is I figured that I would still nurse. here is the problem…we were scheduled for March 17 to have it re-done but COVID so we delated the procedure. He had it June 4th but his teeth we bad (like the 1st time) and the options were root canal or pull the teeth. So he is missing 3 teeth now….his other top teeth were repaired too. Bottom teeth perfect…its crazy, but they arent really sure what caused it. He is a champ and did great and hes doing just fine now too. Youll get through it .<3

  3. We are having the same issues:( the first dentist I went to was clueless- he said there is nothing wrong with your babies teeth other then some grooves (it was obvious pitting!) I asked about lip tie (I found it myself around 13 months also no idea ! He said oh no that does not affect it. Fast forward a few months and her enamel is basically falling off. I have started her on some supplements which are actually improving things along with a remineralizing tooth powder. We will be seeing another dentist this week! Something really interesting to look into is how to heal tooth decay naturally. Also what happened during pregnancy can have a huge impact ! I was really sick with morning sickness my whole pregnancy- this can affect the baby teeth. It’s so hard to feel like you are failing them !!! Good luck !!

  4. Hi there! We have the same situation with my son (2y8mo). I’m too scared to do the laser though as I’m reading very opposing information on it. Some saying it grows back and doesn’t prove to help with a gap or braces down the line due to scar tissue. I’m so confused as he still screams when we brush his teeth. He also does not want to let me wipe his teeth after breastfeeding before bed. I’ve heard breast milk is not bad for the teeth though and actually is good for teeth… but the fact of the matter he has a brown spot on his one tooth and that did get there some how… my biggest problem is the screaming blue murder for teeth brushing. It also makes us do a bad job and skip doing it when he’s super tired or if we’re in a rush as we do not want to put him/us through the trauma. Hmmmm what do you think about the lazer? I see you say you’ll be doing it again. Was the bleeding bad or the place where it had to heal or the maintenance/care afterwards….?

    • Mine wouldnt let me wipe his teeth either…I heard the same thing about breastmilk and here we are. The bleeding was not bad but the sweeling of his upper lip was out of this world. He also came out of anesthesia faster than they thought he would..so that was fun to deal with. The second procedure we had was this past June..his teeth were still being a problem (the lip tie never grew back). I will be writing a follow up post on what happened soon. As for maintenance, it was not bad..had to lift his lip several times a day for a few days to make sure that there was no re-attachment.

  5. I just found your blog today! We are dealing with this exact issue 😫 we found out the exact same way you did too! First noticed grooves. Fast forward today, my 4 year old finally had an appointment this morning set to remove his broken/decay front teeth. Well, late last night I stumbled upon horror stories relating to nitrous oxide and toddlers. So I canceled the appointment. I feel awful and have no idea what to do. Completely lost.

  6. I just found a lip tie on my 9 month old! She has been breastfed with no issue either. I even remember her doctor saying that she had no tongue tie after we struggle with reflux and so I assumed it was all good. I just happened to be looking at some teeth she has coming in and noticed. Since it seems like it’s caused teeth issues, should I go ahead and get it looked at?

  7. I am going through the EXACT same thing. My two year old was diagnosed with a lip and tongue tie at 18 months too. She is exclusively breastfed as well. I don’t know how we didn’t catch it. I have so much guilt. Her front four teeth also have decay. We have tried ozone treatments which we will continue to do but I am seeing more and more decay. I do not want to do the treatments that turn her teeth black but also can’t stand the thought of putting her under to get fillings. I am at a loss. How have the fluoride treatments helped?

    • Hi Lesa,

      Dont feel guilty! I is not your fault! Fluoride helped as a bandaid BUT not for long. We ended up doing the procedure. And then, we had to do it AGAIN. Ours is a traumatic version of this but he is great now. We ended up having his 3 teeth removed. 🙁


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