We have gathered answers to the questions we most often get asked in our tongue tie FAQ.
Does a tongue tie actually exist?
Yes. The tongue tie or Ankyloglossia is a real medical condition. It has its own symptoms and its own medical practitioners specialized in the field.
Can anything be done?
Again, yes. A tongue tie can be treated by frenectomy at a certified practitioner. For less severe symptoms, bodywork might be enough to keep symptoms at bay. Early intervention is recommended, the earlier the better, there is no minimum age for the treatment of a tongue-tie.
Does it hurt?
Having a tongue tie does not hurt. It might cause difficulties, but it does not hurt. It can however hurt the mother of a tongue tied baby during breastfeeding.
Treatment of the tongue tie does cause a little pain, however not much. Revision by laser is the most gentle, whereas revision by scissors usually require general anaesthetic.
Aftercare must be performed after the revision, this might hurt, or cause discomfort.
How is it caused?
The frenum is a remnant of tissue that was part of the facial structure of the infant during early pregnancy. Usually this disappears or is reduced to a slight membrane which is elastic and does not limit the tongue in its movements or disrupt function. Similar webs of tissue can also occur joining the cheeks or lips to the gums. There is a very strong tendency for tongue tie to run in families, and it is more common in boys.
Who should diagnose it?
Tongue ties are usually diagnosed by doctors, dentists, ear, nose and throat doctors or lactation consultants.
How common is it?
Tongue ties are very common. Doctors and midwives are better at diagnosing this at birth than earlier, otherwise tongue ties are not diagnosed unless the symptoms get so severe, a doctor is consulted or if breastfeeding is a problem.
Accurate figures of incidence are not available, but several American studies done show ranges of 4 per 1000, to 22 per 1000. An English randomized controlled trial done in 2002, found that in a 5-month period, where 1,866 live births were recorded, 201 (10%) had a tongue tie. 124 were boys and 77 were girls.
Anything missing from our FAQ? Ask us anything here, or on our Facebook site here.