Ankyloglossia and breastfeeding

Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Apr;16(4):222. doi: 10.1093/pch/16.4.222a.
[Article in English, French]


Ankyloglossia (or tongue-tie) is a relatively uncommon congenital anomaly defined by an abnormally short lingual frenulum. Associations between tongue-tie and breastfeeding problems in infants have been inconsistent, and are a longstanding source of controversy in the medical community. Definitions of ankyloglossia vary, and management suggestions are not based on randomized controlled trials. Surgical correction involves cutting the lingual frenulum (frenotomy). Based on current available evidence, frenotomy cannot be recommended. If, however, the association between significant tongue-tie and major breastfeeding problems is clearly identified and surgical intervention is deemed necessary, frenotomy should be performed by a clinician experienced with the procedure and with appropriate analgesia. More definitive recommendations regarding the management of tongue-tie in infants await appropriately designed trials.

Keywords: Ankyloglossia; Breastfeeding; Infant.