Tongue-tie (or ankyloglossia) exists when the tongue is limited in its function due to the presence of a restrictive band under the tongue called a frenulum. The presence of a frenulum doesn’t not alone indicate a tongue-tie; if the frenulum is short, thick and restricts movement it can affect feeding and is referred to a tongue-tie. Ankyloglossia affects 5-10% of babies.

We are passionate about supporting and helping breastfeeding mothers. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of tongue-tie as they can contribute to premature cessation of breastfeeding.

Symptoms of ankyloglossia in infants include:

  • Latching difficulties
  • Nipple pain
  • Clicking while feeding
  • V-shaped notch at tip of tongue
  • Inefficient milk extraction
  • Low milk supply
  • Prolonged feeds
  • Slowed weight gain

Later in life symptoms can include:

  • Difficulties with speech, particularly articulation of specific sounds
  • Dental hygiene

Tongue-tie Release (Frenulectomy)

A sublingual frenulum alone is not an indication for surgical intervention. Surgical release (frenulectomy) can be an effective intervention of a restrictive frenulum if maternal nipple pain and/or poor milk transfer cannot be corrected in a timely way through conservative measures.

We understand making the decision for your child to have a procedure can be hard.  We feel this is important for parents to be educated and the decision be a shared one between clinician and family.

The procedure involves numbing the area with local anesthesia and excising the pathological mucosa base to the normal base of tongue.

Though no procedure is without any risk, the risks are quite low.  There are also no restrictions after the procedure.  We encourage you to feed your baby immediately. We will have you perform tongue massage after procedure if indicated.

Wellspring Pediatric Plastics is the preferred providers of NICUs and Labor and Delivery centers across central Texas.

For more information on tongue-tie issues, contact our office at pediatrics@thewsps.com or 512-600-2888