Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition in which the lingual frenulum (the thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue) is abnormally short, restricting the movement of the tongue tip. Sixty per cent of babies with tongue-tie are boys and it is common to find multiple members of the one family that have experienced this condition. While sometimes tongue-tie causes no problems and requires no action, the most immediate impact of tongue-tie is generally on a baby's ability to breastfeed effectively.
Breastfeeding a baby with tongue-tie can cause nipple pain and damage. In addition, because of the baby’s inability to establish an effective latch, they may be unable to suckle sufficient breast milk to support healthy weight gain. This can in turn lead to a decrease in milk supply over time. There is ongoing debate as to whether tongue-tie also affects ongoing oral hygiene and speech development.
If breastfeeding is painful, the baby’s weight gain is of concern and there is a significant tongue-tie, releasing it may be recommended in order to improve a baby's ability to breastfeed. After releasing a tongue-tie, it is important to properly stretch and massage the area for at least 10 to 14 days, as shown in the video below, to prevent the areas from growing back together.