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Expert Q&A:
Will my girl's tied tongue recover naturally or require surgery?



My newborn girl has a string-like thing connecting the end of her tongue to the bottom of her mouth. I believe this is called a "tied tongue", but I have been unable to find any more information about this. Does it go away on its own or will she need surgery? Please give me more information.


The condition you describe is very minor and is medically known as a "tight or displaced frenulum". Your baby's tongue is probably heart-shaped, especially when she cries or whenever her tongue comes out. In most cases, this frenulum or "tie" stretches out on its own over time. In rare cases, the tongue is so tied down that it can't move over the lower gum, and that can cause feeding problems. If you're breastfeeding and your baby's condition is making breastfeeding difficult, talk to your GP or a professional breastfeeding specialist for help. If needed, your baby's GP can solve the problem straight away in the surgery with a little sprayed-on anaesthesia. Sometimes, if the condition doesn't go away on its own, a 3-year-old will have problems pronouncing the "th" sound. Again, your baby's tongue could be quite easily corrected if it's still a problem when she's a toddler. Ask your GP for help and support on this. Your doctor can help you with any problems that concern you. In general, though, this is a minor condition that shouldn't have to distract you from enjoying your new baby!

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