Tongue-tie (Frenulotomy) service

Tongue-tie condition

Approximately 5% of babies are born with the condition tongue-tie (ankyloglossia). The fold of skin under the tongue that connects to the tongue to the bottom of mouth is shorter than usual, and this may restrict the movement of the tongue.

Tongue-tie can cause problems with breastfeeding which include problems such as ‘latching on’ and sore nipples. If baby isn’t feeding well, he or she may be slow to gain weight.

Bottle fed babies can also be affected; feeds may be slow or very frequent and because the baby struggles to make a seal around the teat they can dribble milk during the feed or suffer with excessive wind.

However many babies with tongue tie experience no feeding difficulty and require no treatment. Where feeding difficulties exist it may be possible improve feeding by cutting the tongue tie with sharp, blunt-ended scissors (frenulotomy). In young babies this can usually be done without anaesthetic and there is no need for a hospital stay.

If you think your baby has a tongue tie and feeding difficulties, you should contact your midwife, health visitor or family doctor who can make a referral to the Frenulotomy Service at Royal Preston Hospital for an assessment.

The service is only able to accept babies up to the age of 14 weeks who live in Central Lancashire. For further information, please contact our Infant Feeding Specialist Midwives on 01772 524512 or via email at tonguetieclinic@lthtr.nhs.uk