News & Commentary

31st Oct, 2014 Carolyne 4 Comments News

Tongue tie in babies

Tongue tie, lip tie and other suckling issues.

Everyone knows that breast is best. However, sometimes babies have issues latching on properly. Tongue tie and lip adhesion are two examples of this problem.

Tonguetie (ankyloglossia) happens when the string of tissue under the baby’s tongue is too short.

Lip adhesion occurs when there is a string of tissue connecting the upper lip and gum.

If a baby has tongue-tie, her tongue can’t move freely, and this can cause problems with suckling.


When the tongue is too short the baby can’t use it to ‘milk’ the nipple while suckling. A short tongue and/or lip adhesion prevents an effective seal while nursing which means that the baby will take in air and have uncomfortable gas as a result.

Not being able to nurse properly also reduces weight gain. A frustrated and hungry baby means an unhappy baby and mom!

Also moms find that their nipples get very sore because the baby can’t latch on properly.


I treat babies who have or have had tongue tie or lip adhesion. Depending on how long before it was treated these conditions can affect the baby’s jaw and its function. Not being able to open the mouth properly can strain the muscles in the area and pull the jaw and face out of alignment.


Using the very gentle technique of cranial osteopathy I align the jaw and make sure that both sides are working together. I also release any tight muscles in the jaw, face, neck and throat to ensure that suckling is optimized. The same technique is used to ensure that the upper lip can move properly after a lip adhesion is removed.


Other causes of difficulty latching on include how the baby lay in the womb and the birth itself. If forceps were used this can impact the ability of the jaw to open as well as its alignment. Gentle, hands-on treatment releases any tension in the jaw as well as making sure it’s in the correct position. The youngest baby I’ve treated was 7 hours old and was having problems nursing. His lower jaw had become misaligned from his intra-uterine position. Only a short treatment was needed to correct the jaw alignment. When he was next put to the breast he was able to open his mouth wide and latch on perfectly.

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and effective way of treating tongue tie and lip adhesion both before and after removal. This ensures that a baby can breast feed effectively, giving her the best start possible in life.

4 thoughts on “Tongue tie in babies

  1. March 27, 2015

    Help! My son was born with a posterior tongue tie. It was checked initially when I felt something was off when nursing. It was missed, until he was 4 weeks, the lactation consultants had just taken a course on posterior tongue ties and realized he had one. He had the lip and tongue release done with a laser. His nursing improved right away, but wasn’t great again after a few days. He had massage and chiropractor treatments done as recommended by lactation consultant. To see if that would help his nursing. He had forceps to turn him during delivery as he was posterior and maybe needed some help with that too. We went recently, he is now 6 months, to an ENT and they said he still has a little bit of a tie remaining. I felt so frustrated because I thought his tongue wasn’t right, but the LC’s said it seemed ok enough to nurse. He stopped gaining weight so we had to supplement with formula, but hoping now with introduction of foods we won’t have to give too much formula. The ENT said she would have to do a General to do tongue tie release, and no guarantee that nursing would improve. From your experience do tongue ties cause long term problems for people? We don’t want to go through with procedure because it may not help nursing and having the sedation may be harder on him. Also I am close to Ottawa, do you know anyone you could refer us to that practices like yourself? Thank you.

    • March 27, 2015

      Hello Barb,
      From your description it certainly sounds like your son could benefit from osteopathic treatment.
      To find a pediatric osteopathic practitoner in your area you can do a search for ‘ottawa pediatric osteopathy’, or go to this website:


  2. March 28, 2015

    Thank you Carloyne. If tongue tie is still present will it reduce the benefits of treatment?

    • March 28, 2015

      Osteopathy will be helpful even if a tongue tie is present.

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Search the site: