Tongue Tie

All babies have a string of tissue (a frenulum) that connects their tongue to the floor of the mouth. In some babies, this frenulum is attached at the tip of the tongue or is very tight and can restrict its movement, making attachment at the breast difficult or painful.

Many babies with a tongue tie can attach and suck well at the breast, however some will have breastfeeding problems which can cause nipple damage, poor milk transfer and low weight gain.

If you and your baby are not experiencing any difficulty with breastfeeding, cutting the tongue tie (frenulotomy) is not necessary. If a baby can move their tongue effectively for breastfeeding, there is no evidence that they will have trouble with speech, their teeth or transition to solids.

Your Paediatrician will assess your baby for tongue tie as part of their examination, but less severe tongue ties may not be detected until breastfeeding is observed by a midwife or lactation consultant.

If you are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties, a lactation consultant can assess your baby’s feeding. If they feel that a tongue tie is contributing to feeding difficulties, you can contact our practice to discuss the issue.

There is no evidence that “upper lip ties” and “buccal ties” (ties between the gums and cheeks) interfere with breastfeeding and assessing these issues is not part of our routine practice.

Tongue ties are a controversial area, and you may hear conflicting information from various sources about their impact. Below are links to expert opinions on tongue tie from the Australian Breastfeeding Association and a consensus statement from the Australian Dental Association; these include input from Lactation Consultants, Speech Therapists and Paediatricians.