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Midwife Led Tongue Tie Assessment Service

Baby

What is a tongue tie?

Tongue tie occurs when the small piece of skin that holds the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is very tight reducing the movement of the tongue. The medical name for this is anklyoglossia.

Why does tongue tie occur?

During the early weeks of pregnancy a baby has a small piece of skin called a membrane in place to guide the development of the mouth. As pregnancy progresses the membrane becomes thinner and remains loosely attached to the tongue and the floor of the mouth. In tongue tied babies this membrane has remained unusually short and tight.

Tongue Tie is more common in babies who are born prematurely, where there are other family members with tongue tie, and in more boys than girls.

How does tongue tie affect babies?

Many babies have a tongue tie and it passes unnoticed, or may cause no problems and does not require any treatment.

For other babies it can interfere with feeding. Symptoms may include:

For all babies

For breastfeeding babies

If you or your health care professional suspect your baby may have a tongue tie, a referral can be made to the Midwife Led Tongue Tie Assessment Service.

Prior to a referral being made, a full feeding assessment must be performed. If there is a feeding problem that cannot be resolved and may be due to a tongue tie a referral can be made.

Please speak to your healthcare professional who can fill out the Feeding Assessment Referral form below on your behalf.

The Feeding Assessment and Referral form should be emailed to: tonguetie@nhs.net

On receipt of the form you will be contacted by telephone (withheld number) within 1 week.

During the telephone call we will discuss the need for you to attend the Tongue Tie assessment clinic. The clinics are held weekly and are located at Colchester general Hospital.