A tongue-tie is when the fold of soft tissue that joins under the togue to the base of the mouth, known as the lingual frenum, is visually tight. This causes restricted movement of the tongue which can lead to difficulties such as – issues with latching when breastfeeding & potential issues with speech.
Tongue-tie is present in 4% to 11% of newborns. If you are concerned your baby may be tongue-tied, there are multiple options to try before surgery. Depending on what your child is having issues with i.e., problems with breastfeeding – speak to an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), midwife or maternal child health nurse. If your child has difficulties moving from soft to hard food or speech development – speak to a Speech Pathologist. If the problem persists, then surgery can be explored. It is important to note all surgical procedures come with risks therefore non-surgical treatment methods are encouraged.
Surgery is not recommended due to concerns of potentially having problems in the future, as there is no way of knowing. If the lingual frenum appears tight, but the tongue is able to function properly, then it should be considered normal. Surgery can always be completed once your child has grown if they are having issues the functionality of the tongue.