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Tongue-tie or Short Lingual Frenulum

A Tongue-tie is caused by a short lingual frenulum that restricts tongue movement.  Many babies with tongue-ties are breast or bottle fed successfully, but a tight tongue-tie can interfere with a baby’s ability to feed successfully.  The medical term for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia.

In older children with a tongue-tie, they can have difficulty licking around their lips, or raising the tongue tip inside their mouth.  This can mean that they have difficulties with eating (i.e. licking an ice-cream) and pronunciation of certain letters of the alphabet.  The tongue may look flat or square, instead of pointy with extended.  The tongue tip may also look notched or heart-shaped.

Our Doctors offer correction of tongue-ties.  In babies up to approximately 12 weeks of age, this can be done in the rooms.  They are simply snipped with surgical scissors and it only takes a few seconds.   We ask that when you come to the consultation that baby is a little hungry so after the short procedure you can feed baby and they normally settle quite quickly. We will keep you here after the procedure for approximately ½ hour to ensure baby is settled and the Doctor will check the baby again before you leave.  As the Doctors are Specialists you will need a referral from either a General Practitioner or your Paediatrician. Please note that a Lactation Consultants or a Speech Therapist cannot refer.   If you do not have a current referral, you will not get a refund from Medicare.  The Doctors will not snip upper lip ties (maxillary tongue-ties) in the rooms.

Older children, that is over the age of 3 months, would have to have their tongue-tie divided in Hospital as a day procedure under a General Anaesthetic.  The Doctors would normally wait to see whether these children were having problems with speech development to evaluate whether division of the tongue-tie is warranted.  See Financial Information regarding charges or call the practice if you have any further questions.

Disclaimer:  This web site is not intended as a substitute for your own independent health professional’s advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider within your country or place of residency with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

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