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tongue tie | osteopathy | Tristan Joss

Tongue Tie Facts & an Osteopaths Role

Written by Boroondara Osteopathy

A well-known clinic in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs founded by Dr Katie Willy (Osteopath)

What is a tongue tie?

Tongue tie occurs when the thin piece of skin under the baby’s tongue called the “frenulum” is abnormally short and can restrict the movement of the tongue. We all have this piece of skin under our tongue, joining it to the floor of the mouth, but in about 3% of babies, the frenulum is shortened or restrictive. 

There is different type of tongue ties, anterior and posterior. 

Anterior are obvious with a string of tissue from the tip of the tongue or slightly further back that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This will likely be sorted out in the hospital very quickly because it affects feeding straight away.  

Posterior are harder to initially pick up and may be missed in hospital. The frenulum is attached further back under the tongue but still restricting tongue movement.  

tongue tie | osteopathy | Tristan Joss

Tongue Tie Symptoms:

  • Trouble latching 
  • Colic 
  • Fussiness
  • Clicking during feeding
  • Consistent frequent dribbling 
  • Poor control during swallowing 
  • Snoring 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nipple pain or damage in  breastfeeding mums (mastitis, cracks and bleeding) 

The best way to resolve the tongue tie is for a dentist to snip or laser the tissue so the restriction eases. 

What can an osteo do for tongue tie?  

We work with dentists and myofunctional therapists before and after a tongue tie release. The feedback from dentist is that when a tongue tie procedure patient sees an osteopath before and after treatment, they find the procedure is easier and therefore yields better results for the patient afterwards.  

Simple uncomplicated treatment from our point of view with lots of upside for the patient.  


Our staff have completed further study in tongue tie assessment, and utilise bodywork techniques to support tongue-tie pre and post-revisions .

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