ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Tongue-Tie Shouldn’t Tie Down Your Child’s Life

Don’t be tongue-tied when telling your doctor about the possibility that your child may have the condition known as tongue-tie (ankyloglossia). Your child’s quality of life can be adversely affected when it’s left untreated, especially when surgery is required. Your child, fortunately, can live a normal life when his condition has been treated – and the treatment is easy, too!


Limited Range of Motion Issues


Tongue-tie is a congenital condition characterized by the lingual frenulum being unusually short, tight or thick. This band of tissue also tethers your child’s tongue, specifically its tip, to the floor of his mouth so it looks like there’s little separation.


Aside from the abnormal appearance, you will also be concerned because of the issues that come with the tongue’s limited range of motion. Your baby will likely have a few or several of these issues:


  • Difficulty in eating, speaking and swallowing


In the case of infants, your child can have difficulty in breastfeeding. This is because your baby has to keep his tongue over his lower gums while sucking. But his tongue-tie prevents him from doing so and, thus, he will chew on your nipple instead of sucking on it. Both you and your baby will suffer because of it.


  • Difficulty in sticking out his tongue beyond his lower front teeth


This can result in speech difficulties particularly in making the sounds of the letters “t”, “d”, “z”, “s”, “r”, “l”, and “th”. Your child can also have other oral issues, such as poor oral hygiene since it can be challenging to sweep food away from the teeth. Your child can even complain about the challenge of licking and playing a wind instrument.


The bottom line: You should see your baby’s pediatrician if you suspect him of having the condition. Your baby may or may not need treatment but it’s always best to be on the safe side.


Treatment Options Available


For now, doctors aren’t in general agreement about the best course of treatment for tongue-tie. You have to discuss the pros and cons of treatment with your child’s pediatrician, especially as each case is different.


Your ENT doctor may recommend getting treatment immediately, perhaps even before your baby is discharged from the hospital. You may also agree with a wait-and-see approach as the band may become loose over time thus resolving the issue. But you may also decide to proceed with speech therapy and surgery


  • Frenotomy is a relatively simple procedure that requires snipping the frenulum with sterile scissors. The complications are minor and rare in nature.
  • Frenuloplasty is a more complicated procedure but it may be necessary if additional repair is needed.


When your child’s condition has been resolved, you will find that he’s more than able to live a good life, starting with better breastfeeding.



HK ENT Specialist

offering ENT services,

Hearing aids prescription,

Swallowing disorder assessment and treatment,

Head and Neck Oncology,

Sleep disordered breathing Management,

and Facial Plastic Surgery, etc.


註: 本站無論中文繁體,中文簡體和英文內容所提及的疾病和治療方法僅供讀者參考,並不代表本站推薦該種療法,亦不能代替專業醫生診治,讀者如有需要,應該尋求專業醫生意見或聯絡香港耳鼻喉專科。