Tongue Tie

This is a very common condition where the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by a cord or frenulum.

Symptoms

It is important to note that many babies with a tongue tie have no problems with breast feeding, and many babies without a tongue tie have problems with breast feeding. We therefore recommend a full assessment and assistance from experienced midwives or lactation specialists prior to referral for tongue tie division

The only strong indication for dividing a tongue tie is when there is significant difficulty breast feeding such as very painful nipples and difficulty with latching on. There is very little evidence that a tongue tie limits speech development in later years although some children with persistent tight frenulum may have difficulty pronouncing certain letters.

Causes

There is no obvious cause for this condition

Treatment

The vast majority of these require no treatment and may stretch over time. If treatment is indicated then the tongue i.e. can be divided by a very simple procedure called a lingual frenotomy. This is simply a division of the tongue tie. It is a simple procedure and takes only a few minutes. The baby is able to feed immediately afterwards. We would usually perform this as a daycase procedure without an anaesthetic. However, in children above the age of 3 months, a general anaesthetic will be required.

Post-Op

Post operative care is simple. We usually recommend that the baby is fed immediately after the procedure.

FAQ’s

A tongue tie occurs when the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by a band called the frenulum.
Most babies are routinely checked for tongue tie at birth but it may come to light if there are difficulties with breast feeding.
There is very little evidence that a tongue tie affects speech development. Some children who have very severe tongue ties may struggle with the pronunciation of certain letters.
In many cases the frenulum stretches as the baby grows.
There is really no indication to do anything at all if your baby is fine breast feeding.
The only proven indication for surgery is if there are breast feeding difficulties.
In babies under the age of 3 months, the frenulum can be divided very quickly in an out patient setting. Above this age, a general anaesthetic will be required.
It is difficult to be certain that the baby feels no pain at all, however the procedure takes only a few seconds and most babies do not appear to experience any discomfort.
Complications are exceedingly rare. Persistent bleeding may occur if there is an underlying clotting problem.
Recovery is immediate.
We usually recommend that the baby is fed immediately after the procedure.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY

MEET OUR CONSULTANTS

Mr. Feilim Murphy

MB, BCH, BAO, FRCSI (Paeds)
> Read Profile

Mr. Bruce Okoye

MBBS, FRCS (Paed), MD
> Read Profile