153 High Street, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4SD
Ankyloglossia, or tongue tie as it is more commonly known, may become apparent soon after the baby is born. It can affect 3-10% of new born babies. The tongue tie is caused by a fibrous band of tissue, the frenulum, which tethers the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, restricting movement. This may cause a problem with latching on or feeding.
It will become apparent whether a tongue release is indicated or not.
If a release procedure is required, it will normally be carried out on the same day as the consultation. The release of the tongue tie is a safe and quick process, taking only a few seconds. It involves the ‘snipping’ of the fibrous band of tissue. Since it does not involve muscle, local anaesthesia is not required, and it should be less painful than a vaccination, for example.
On the day of the visit we would like to ensure that your baby feeds straight after the procedure and thus we recommend that your baby has not been fed for a couple of hours.
Feeding after the procedure helps in many ways. If the Consultant feels the tongue tie requires release, a consent form will be filled in and signed by yourselves.
Although this ‘release’ is harmless, some babies may cry for a minute or two, and there may be a few spots of blood around the area. After the ‘snip’ you will be instructed to breast/bottle feed your baby. Feeding helps with initial movements of the tongue as well as comforting your baby.
No aftercare is required, other than perhaps a little pain relief. It is worth bearing in mind that hygienic feeding, either breast or bottle is important to prevent the development of infections. A review is not normally arranged.
General Dental Council Registration Number 84896
Consultant Oral Surgeon
Southend University Hospital NHS Trust
Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Leeds
General Dental Council Registered
Specialist in Oral Surgery.
Mr Ganesan has a special interest in neonatal tongue tie and he is actively involved in research regarding the effect of tongue tie on new born babies.