Child Health  |  Tongue Tie Pathway - Background Information

Child Health

Tongue Tie Pathway - Background Information

Pathway adapted from the Waikato DHB version of the Map of Medicine pathway by BOPDHB GP Liaison Dr Alison James and Paediatrician Dr Vivienne Hobbs.

Tongue tie or ankyloglossia is a congenital anomaly occurring in approximately 0.2%-10% of the population and is characterised by a short frenulum or a highly attached genioglossus muscle restricting tongue movements. Only 25% - 50% of babies with ankyloglossia will have feeding problems related to their tongue tie. 

The definition of tongue tie is not standardised and there is wide variation of opinion regarding its clinical significance and optimal management. International data supports a target rate for tongue tie release surgery between 2% - 5%. 

Equity information:

Maori babies are significantly less likely than non-Maori babies to have been exclusively breastfed by three months. Poor breast feeding rates in Maori babies is likely to reflect reduced access to lactation support. Rural locality and being from a lower socioeconomic demographic, are likely contributors to reduced access to lactation support for Maori.

Last updated : Wednesday, November 01, 2017
Next review date : Thursday, November 01,2018

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