Feb 2013

Tongue-tie (medical term - Ankyloglossia)

A couple of new mums who have been to my classes have reported back that their babies had tongue-tie, so I thought it’d be useful to give you some information on this incase your babies have it too.

Tongue-tie is where the piece of skin (the frenulum) that joins the tongue to the base of the mouth is shorter than normal, restricting movement in the tongue. This can cause the baby difficulty feeding, by being unable to suck effectively.

The severity of this condition can vary and at its worst, the tongue is effectively fused to the base of the mouth.

Sometimes tongue-tie improves spontaneously over time, however if your baby is having trouble feeding, a simple surgical procedure is often recommended. This is known as frenuloplasty or tongue-tie division and it is where the frenulum is snipped to free the tongue. For younger babies, this procedure is usually performed with a local anaesthetic. However as babies get older, a general anaesthetic is normally required. The baby can usually start feeding straight away.

Tongue-tie is usually spotting by a midwife or doctor when they are examining your baby. If you have any concerns about tongue-tie, it’s worth speaking to your GP in the first instance to see if intervention is necessary.