What does the world think of ankyloglossia?

Ruilin R. Jin, Alastair Sutcliffe, Maximo Vento, Claudelle Miles, Javeed Travadi, Kumar Kishore, Keiji Suzuki, David Todd, Susanne Wooderson, Azanna Ahmad Kamar, Li Ma, John Smyth, Ju Lee Oei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The diagnosis of tongue-tie (or ankyloglossia) has increased more than 10-fold in some countries. Whether this is a global phenomenon or related to cultural and professional differences is uncertain. Methods: An online survey in English, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish was disseminated between May and November 2016 via 27 international professional bodies to >30 clinical professions chosen a priori to represent occupations involved in the management of neonatal ankyloglossia. Results: A total of 1721 responses came from nursing (51%), medical (40%), dental (6%) and allied health (4%) clinicians. Nurses (40%) and allied health (34%) professionals were more likely than doctors (8%) to consider ankyloglossia as important for lactation problems, as were western (83%) compared to Asian (52%) clinicians. Referrals to clinicians for ankyloglossia management originated mainly from parents (38%). Interprofessional referrals were not clearly defined. Frenectomies were most likely to be performed by surgeons (65%) and dentists (35%), who were also less likely to be involved in lactation support. Clinicians performing frenectomies were more likely to consider analgesia as important compared to those not performing frenectomies. Conclusion: The diagnosis and treatment of ankyloglossia vary considerably around the world and between professions. Efforts to standardise management are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1733-1738
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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