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Tongue tie release

What is a tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is where the strip of skin connecting the baby's tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual.

See your health visitor, midwife or GP if you're concerned about your baby's feeding and think they may have tongue-tie.

Tongue-tie affects around 4-11% of newborn babies. It's more common in boys than girls, and sometimes runs in families.

Why does my baby need this procedure?

If you are coming to us with your newborn baby it is likely that you have already received information relating to tongue-ties from medical professionals at your post-natal healthcare checks or from your local feeding clinic.

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What does the treatment entail?

Tongue-tie division involves cutting the short, tight piece of skin connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth (the lingual frenulum).

It's a quick, simple and almost painless procedure that usually resolves feeding problems straight away.

Treatment isn't necessary if your baby has tongue-tie but can feed without any problems. If their feeding is affected, treatment can be carried out simply.

Some babies sleep through the procedure, while others cry for a few seconds.

The baby's head is held gently but securely whilst the tongue-tie is surgically released. It only takes a few seconds, and you can start feeding your baby immediately afterwards in our private room.

There should be little blood loss, although some bleeding is likely. A white/yellow patch may form under the tongue, which takes 24 to 48 hours to heal, but doesn't bother the baby.

Research suggests most babies who have treatment for tongue-tie find breastfeeding easier afterwards.

Older children and adults

Untreated tongue-tie may not cause any problems as a child gets older, and any tightness may resolve naturally as the mouth develops.

However, tongue-tie can sometimes cause problems such as speech difficulties and difficulty eating certain foods.

Speak to your dentist if you think you or your child is having problems caused by tongue-tie.

Tongue-tie division can be carried out in older children and adults and is usually done under local anaesthetic (IV Sedation can also be offered) and may involve using stitches.

Please contact us to discuss further.

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2022 Balbirnie Oral Care
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2022 Balbirnie Oral Care