I had my daughter in this August. At beginning the breastfeeding was painful. The pediatrician suggested it was probably caused by my daughter's tongue-tie. I decided to have the operation for her. Before the operation the breastfeeding got better and better. So I decided not to have the operation for her.

Recently my friend brought the subject up and said she knew some kids who are affected have problems with speech later on. Is this true? Now I wonder if I should have the operation after all. It is maybe easy when she is still small. The operation would be easier now than later.

  • What's "DD"? "Darling daughter"? Dec 5, 2014 at 9:15
  • 1
    Something to that effect, yes (DD=Dear Daughter, DS=Dear Son, DH=Dear Husband, or Darling, or whatever.) @Cheryl I would suggest not using such abbreviations here; we prefer slightly less informal language from what I've seen.
    – Joe
    Dec 5, 2014 at 16:02

2 Answers 2


Ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), may cause problems in enunciation and increase the amount of effort needed to say certain words. However, it does not cause a developmental delay in speech. That is, children with Ankyloglossia learn to speak at the same expected times and have the same expected range of vocabularies.

The extent of speech difficulties (enunciation/effort) may be partially or entirely overcome with special exercises for the muscles in the mouth/face and by using their tongue differently than usual to produce the same sounds.

It's not possible to determine if an infant's tongue-tie will significantly impact their speech. The severity of the tongue-tie itself may decrease with age from 6 months to 6 years. There are no real studies out there that link Ankyloglossia (of any severity) conclusively to speech disorders.

According to this article, the surgical operation(s) used to treat tongue-tie are usually not because of speech issues. Instead, it's usually done when the infant or child is having difficulties feeding, or for appearance. In this case, your pediatrician suggested it because it may have been affecting your infant's feeding.

  • This seems to be consistent with what I think also. Doctors tend to push the operation, in large part because it's a simple one (both of mine had it, as the first had feeding problems, and the second had an obvious tie so we did it since we knew to look for it; in both cases it was nearly painless as far as we could tell). Procedures with very slight risk and some chance of being helpful tend to be pushed by doctors even if they're not definitely helpful. My suspicion is that there is a link to extreme Ankyloglossia and speech difficulty but it's extremely rare to be that extreme.
    – Joe
    Dec 5, 2014 at 16:09

This is actually an old question and a late answer for you. But for those who have the same question, I will try to explain it. Tongue tie mostly affects the speaking. Because the tie under the tongue limits the moving ability of the tongue, the patient does experience difficulties to pronounce the letters d, n, l, r, t, and z. So it might be the best decision to get the baby taken Frenectomy as soon as possible. If the surgery is carried out before she starts speaking, then she will be able to pronounce the words correctly and have no speech problem.

Source: http://www.healthextent.com/diseases/tongue-tie-surgery

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