How to Spot a Tongue-tie

Some Tongue-ties may be noted at the newborn examination undertaken usually by a Pediatrician or a Midwife with additional competency; others may be diagnosed whilst the mother and baby are still receiving post-natal care or when baby is older, by a Health Visitor, Breastfeeding Specialist or GP. The following clues may be present;

  • Visible membrane or ‘string’ joining the tongue to the lower gums or the floor of the mouth.
  • The tip of the tongue may be, ‘flattened’, ‘heart –shaped’ or ‘notched’ at the tip.
  • The tongue doesn’t lift up fully to the roof of the mouth particularly noticeable when baby is crying. It may also be ‘squared-off’ when lifting or sticking out rather than pointed.
  • The centre of the tongue may be ‘humped’ or have a hollow shaped depression in it when lifting it.
  • If you pass your clean finger under your baby’s tongue you may feel a restriction or ‘speed bump’. This may blanch if the tongue is lifted.
  • The tongue may not be able to protrude beyond the lower gum, therefore not cushioning the nipple from pressure during breast feeding causing damage, compression or distortion of the nipple.

For more information about our Tongue-tie procedure, please read the Tongue-tie Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment Guide.