Tongue Tie Frequently Asked Questions 2023-10-24T09:39:29+00:00


Do all babies with Tongue tie need a release?

Not all babies with tongue tie require a frenotomy (tongue tie release). If the tie is not excessively tight and the baby is feeding well, there is no need to release it. This is is based on a careful oral assessment of the baby, observation of a feed ( if causing feeding issues) and discussion of the symptoms that it may be causing.

If the tongue is not functioning well and causing problems with feeding, then a release is beneficial. Dr Quigley will discuss the pros and cons of a release, and doesn’t release ties if unnecessary. Occasionally after a careful assessment, a watch and wait approach is taken for a week or two before releasing the tie.

How long does the procedure take?

The actual procedure involving a scissors release takes seconds. Dr Quigley will take time to discuss your symptoms, examine the baby and discuss the procedure in detail. Afterwards, Dr Quigley will help you latch the baby, and the baby can enjoy a feed. The entire appointment will last 30-40 mins.

Will a tongue tie release hurt the baby?

Babies are given sugar solution as pain relief and local anaesthetic under the tongue if needed. It is believed that this area is not well supplied with nerve endings. They tolerate the procedure very well and settle almost immediately with a feed.

Will my baby be upset during and after tongue tie release?

The baby will cry for 10-15 seconds after the procedure and is quickly returned to mum for a feed. This settles the baby, and allows mum to observe any improvements that may be immediately felt in latch or pain. Occasionally, very small babies hardly wake up during the procedure. In older babies, Calpol can be given if a baby is out of sorts after the procedure, Dr Quigley can advise the correct dose based on the baby’s weight. If the baby is older than 8 weeks, he/she can be given Calpol an hour before the procedure.

Will the baby bleed much during the tongue tie release?

The amount of bleeding associated with a tongue tie release is usually tiny. This is equivalent to a few drops on a piece of gauze up to a teaspoonful of blood. Rarely, there can be more prolonged bleeding but the odds of this are quite low.

There are contraindications to the procedure including Bleeding disorder such as Haemophilia and Von Willebrand’s disease and also if your baby did not receive Vitamin K at birth.

Does Tongue Tie affect speech?

It is difficult to give a definitive answer about this. It is thought that tongue tie may affect the pronunciation of some sounds but does not cause speech delay. Assessment by a qualified speech and language therapist would be needed to assess this when the child reaches the appropriate age.

What if my baby has symptoms of a Tongue Tie but doesn’t have one?

Symptoms such as wind and colic can be associated with Tongue tie. However, there can be other issues which may cause these symptoms such as poor positioning and attachment to the breast, oversupply, CMPA ( Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy), digestive issues and reflux. If your baby does not have a tongue tie, but is experiencing troubling symptoms like these, Dr Quigley can advise treatments or therapies which may help.

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