A tongue tie is when the lingual frenulum (between the tongue and floor of the mouth) extends close to the tip of the tongue and prevents the tongue from moving normally. This is present from birth and may result in difficulties breastfeeding or latching. Later on in life it may interfere with normal speech patterns. Breastfeeding moms of children with tongue tie are also more likely to have nipple pain when breastfeeding.
Not all tongue ties are significant and it is often only when the tongue cannot protrude beyond the gums or teeth that your child may experience difficulties. Some children with tongue tie will never have any problems with feeding or speech.
Baby clinic nurses and breastfeeding practitioners are often the first to notice a tongue tie that the parents may not have seen.
If your child has symptoms from a tongue tie, the frenulum can be divided and the tongue tie released. In infants this procedure is done in the rooms, while older children will require general anaesthetic and a procedure in theatre.