Neonatal tongue tie- Diagnosis and management
What is a tongue tie?
A congenital anomaly in which a tight band of mucous membrane under the tongue limiting the mobility of the tongue.
How common is it?
Recent study in 2013 identified it is prevalent in 2-10%. It is common in boys than girls
What are the problems with tongue tie?
Please note list given below are only possible associations
as a New born-
Difficulties with breast feeding and possibly with bottle feeding too.
- Painful breastfeeding/ mastitis due to failed emptying/ dented nipple
- poor latching/ poor oral seal and leakage/ noisy feeding
- frequent stops between feeding
- increased frequency of feeding
- regurgitation and possible colic due to sucking too much of air
as a Child
- may affect speech but it is not possible to predict when they were new born
- difficulty in keeping teeth clean as tongue does not raise up
- possible difficulty licking lollies and licking ice creams
as an Adolescence
- difficulty in licking and french kissing
- gum recession at the back of the lower front teeth
- gap between the lower front teeth
as an Adult
- untreated gum recession leading to mobility of the lower front teeth
- difficulty wearing dentures
Having performed tongue tie release for varying ages, I have not found any real correlation between severity of the tongue tie and
functional difficulties. Some with minimal tongue tie with functional difficulties and in some with severe tongue tie where there were
no functional problems at all. As a Oral Surgeon, I have seen many patients (above the age of 30)with severe tongue tie with no
difficulties at all during routine oral examination.