Relationship between Breastfeeding Difficulties, Ankyloglossia, and Frenotomy: A Literature Review

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2021 Apr 1;22(4):452-461.


Objective: Breastfeeding plays a key role in the development of the baby, in addition to the benefits to the mother and this dyad. Among the possible difficulties in this process, we have ankyloglossia. Some professionals opt for the frenotomy, although the literature is controversial. This paper aims to present how the literature provides subsidies for health professionals' decision and action in the intersection of the themes: breastfeeding, ankyloglossia, and frenotomy.

Materials and methods: The research on the platforms SciELO and PubMed used the terms: "ankyloglossia," "frenotomy," and "lingual frenulum" and the same ones associated with "breastfeeding." A specific inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied and validated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to reduce any bias in the analysis. In the end, 16 papers were included and, by thematic equivalence, divided into two domains: association between lingual frenulum alteration and breastfeeding and between frenotomy and breastfeeding.

Results: The literature does not assure that the frenotomy is the "standard conduct" to be adopted in cases of difficulty in breastfeeding and ankyloglossia.

Conclusion: Further studies are needed on the different types of ankyloglossia and their direct influence on the sucking function and lactation difficulties.

Keywords: Ankyloglossia; Breastfeeding Frenotomy..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankyloglossia*
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies
  • Infant
  • Lingual Frenum / surgery
  • United States