Q&A by renowned International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Tongue-tie Specialist Sarah Oakley who has completed over 4000 tongue-tie procedures in the UK and is the ‘go-to’ person for tongue-tie training.
When does an anterior tongue-tie become a posterior tongue-tie?
The fact is it doesn’t really matter if the tongue is restricted in the way that it’s moving and it impacting on feeding, then that’s an indication to divide it. But people often ask what the differences are.
So in simple terms and anterior tongue-tie is a tongue-tie that’s attached close to the tip of the tongue, and is actually very visibly obvious.
A posterior tongue-tie is a tongue-tie that’s attached further back and is not so visually obvious. Often with those you can’t really see the frenulum until you actually physically lift the tongue up or when the baby’s crying. And if they lift that tongue sufficiently, you may then get a glimpse a bit.
Anterior tongue-ties are generally accepted as being a tongue-tie, but is more than half way forward to the tip of the tongue. So anything that is from the tip of the tongue to halfway back is generally considered anterior. And in most of the studies on tongue-tie, if they’re talking about anterior tongue -ties, they’re talking about the ones that are no further back than halfway along the underside of the tongue.
Then the posterior ones or anything that’s less than 50%, so the ones that are further back than halfway. So anything that is attached, half way along the under surface of the tongue, right to the base of the tongue would be classed as a posterior tongue-tie. But it is controversial and people have different views on it but that’s basically the crux of that one.
OCN level 3 & 4 Tongue-tie & Infant Feeding Course – This course is for childcare, breastfeeding and healthcare professionals who would like to be able to better guide and support families who have babies with tongue-tie. The advanced syllabus will support students to gain a deeper understanding of the different types of tongue-tie, the assessment processes used and the possible treatment available. Students will also learn how to sign-post parents quickly and effectively, and know the effects tongue-tie has on other areas such as feeding and speech.