Tongue Tie

A common & Overlooked restrictive Condition

What is a Tongue Tie

Tongue Tue Treatment CorkTongue Tie, referred to as “Ankyloglossia” or ‘tethered tongue’ is a common but often overlooked condition. Other oral restrictions include ‘tethering’ of the cheeks and/or upper and lower lips. Collectively the ‘ties’ are now becoming better known as “Tethered Oral Tissues” or T.O.T.s, the acronym created by Dr. Kevin Boyd at the World Tongue Tie Summit Montreal 2014 (IATP).

A Tongue Tie, regardless of Grade, may restrict the ALL IMPORTANT normal tongue resting posture (entire tongue body ‘glued’ to the roof of the mouth/palate from behind the front teeth back to the soft palate) and tongue function. Most people are unaware that these tethers or T.O.T.s should dissolve and disappear at approximately 12 weeks in utero, well before the baby is born. Babies should be examined for T.O.T.s at birth, by a properly trained professional, a mandatory examination now carried out in Brazil and the state of New Jersey in the US. Unfortunately, many professionals have not been trained in this particular area and often, but inadvertently give the wrong diagnosis. Babies were routinely examined at birth for alterated/restricted tongues up to the 1940’s and when diagnosed, surgically corrected (often by the Mid-wife). This is unfortunately no longer the case, as today, T.O.T.s are given little attention and often ignored.

Consequences of Untreated Tongue Tie:

  • Inadequate facial growth leading to an array of malocclusions (crooked teeth)
  • Tongue may fall back into the throat area, thus impinge the airway and negatively impact breathing
  • Sleep disorders often present due to airway size reduction when tongue impinges the airway
  • Babies may experience breast feed difficulties. However, an upper lip tie is very often correlated with such feeding problems and needs to be treated for successful breast-feeding to be properly established)
  • Breastfeeding may be frequently very painful and difficult for Mums
  • Toddlers have difficulty chewing food and swallowing correctly leading to ‘gut’ issues
  • Both children and adults may have speech problems
  • Many more problems

A small baby needs to get it’s tongue under its mother’s nipple, and, by using a combination of muscles, is able to extract milk from the breast.

Research has shown that breastfeeding has profound health benefits for the growing infant. Further to this, it is now known that the “suckling” action of a breast feeding baby is very important in the positive, normal, development of the palate and face, thus not only enhancing the looks of the child but also improving the airways and therefore reducing the chances of becoming a mouth breather, with all the associated negative consequences.

The Bottle-fed child does not feed with the same muscle action. Bottle-feeding requires strong piston-like up and down movement of the jaws which has very negative effects on facial growth.

Bottle-fed babies will often have high narrow palates, and may also develop a tongue thrust which may cause an open bite, poor facial profile, and crooked teeth.

Tongue Tie Issues Summarised


  • AIRWAY obstruction
  • SLEEP disorders
  • Malocclusions (crooked teeth as face does not develop normally)
  • Dental Problems become apparent (Tongue unable to ‘sweep’ teeth clean efficiently)
  • Difficulty breastfeeding, which can cause “Failure to Thrive” for baby, and sleepless nights, as well as sore nipples for Mum
  • Difficulty chewing solid foods, or fussy slow eaters
  • Speech problems, especially making sounds involving “T,D,N,L and S
  • Inability to open mouth widely, this can affect speech which can have social embarrasment
  • Difficulty eating, kissing, and social situations
  • Clicking Jaws
  • Pain in Jaws
  • Migraine headaches
  • Protrusion of lower jaw (due to underdevelopment of upper jaw)

Treatment for Tongue Tie


  • A simple snip of the Tongue Tie is best carried out soon after birth. This is often performed without anaesthetic
  • Surgery Snip: In older child and adults this procedure can be carried out under Local or General Anaesthetic.
  • Laser Surgery (Which we offer at O Connor Dental Health from approximately 6 years +)


  • In infant no further treatment is required other than Mum ensuring through special exercises that the tongue (and lips if necessary) is kept mobile for several weeks following revision
  • In young child or Adult it is most important that stretching exercises are given to the patient in order to stretch the tongue (and lips if necessary). This is important in order to avoid scar tissue forming and tongue tie re-developing.
  • In our Practice, this is part of our Myofunctional Therapy Program. We are the only Practice in the country currently addressing, modifying, and correcting bad oral habits using Myofunctional Therapy.

1a, Barr Na Sraide, Main St, Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Ireland

021487 2600

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Working Hours

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9 AM – 6 PM
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  • review rating 5  Difficult work carried out in a most diligent and professional manner. Lovely caring and relaxed atmosphere with both Tony and staff. Never any fears or worries attending for check up or treatment.

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  • review rating 5  My child had problems sleeping, eating properly, and breathing, and at a last attempt of hope, I went to Tony and Bridget, their new approach is amazing, and they truly helped my child, thank you

    thumb Catherine Berry
  • review rating 5  O'Connor Dental Health clinic is unlike any dentists that I have been to before. It is a warm, welcoming environment where the needs of the patients are put first at all times. This atmosphere is created by an excellent staff. Tony and Bridget are very passionate about the work that they do. They are approaching dentistry and Myofunctional Therapy in a holistic, modern manner which allows them to achieve results that have far reaching effects on the health of their clients. There is always warm welcome from Emily for the patients also. The work that is being carried out in the clinic is ahead of its time, more and more research is showing that oral health has far reaching implications for people's overall health and well being. Many dentists may work to help fix problems with your teeth but few if any in this country are approaching dentistry in such an broad,enlightened manner as Tony O Connor. The combination of Tony's dental work with Bridget working on Myofunctional Therapy is literally changing lives. Thanks for all your help.

    thumb Brian Murphy
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    thumb S Hardiman
  • review rating 5  To begin with I was in my mid 20's when I began my treatment and my mouth was extremely crowded with crooked teeth. I had sought much information from different clinics via phone calls and they all told me, without even seeing me, that I would have to have teeth removed regardless. All except Tony. When he looked at my teeth, he told me that it might be difficult, but he would try to save these teeth, which is what he ended up doing. Not only are my teeth now straight but, thanks to the advice I received from Bridget, I also learned that I had to control my tongue in order to keep the result, she set out a series of exercises which strengthened my tongue and general well-being by consequence. The clinic had a very homely atmosphere and a calm waiting room. I am extremely pleased with the result and would strongly urge anyone who may be even thinking about orthodontics to at the very least to seek a consultation, after which I am sure it will be obvious that this is the best course of treatment available.

    thumb Michael Ireland Ireland
  • review rating 5  I have been looking for a teeth whitening treatment for a while especially somewhere local in Cork and then I came across O'Connor Dental Health.Website looks great with great treatments to offer.Cannot wait to make an appointment soon

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Happy Patients

My experience in the O Connor dental health was pleasent.As a person who is nervous about visiting the dentist i felt very relaxed both in the waiting room and on the chair.Over the years i have attended a few different dentists and this has been the one practice where i felt relaxed and at ease due to the care of the staff. Before my procedures it was explained to me by the staff what to expect and i found this helped put me at ease. For any one who is nervous of visiting the dentists i would strongly recommend this practice.



My daughter needed orthodontic treatment. Tony did a very comprehensive plan for my daughter and went through it with me and my daughter in great detail before he began the treatment. We knew how long it was going to take and what exactly was involved. What I liked about Tony was, he was so enthusiastic himself about the treatment and took great pride in getting it right, tweaking a bit here and there to make sure he got the best result. He explained everything to my daughter and encouraged her through the treatment. Tony does not just look at the teeth but also the shape of her mouth and the overall look. I would highly recommend Tony and his team, he is a genuine, passionate and meticulous about his work and a very nice person as well. My daughter has a lovely smile and my younger daughter can't wait to start her treatment as she sees the fantastic results of Tony's work and can't wait to have the same fantastic smile.



Why Choose O’Connor Dental Health

Friendly, Family Atmosphere

At O'Connor Dental Health we aim to provide a relaxed family atmosphere that is enjoyable for all ages.

Unique Range of Services

We offer a wide range of treatments, including early intervention for children, orthodontics for teens and adults and a multitude of general dental services

Locally Based in Ballincollig, Cork

Our state of the art clinic is located in Ballincollig, Cork. We have ample parking available, comfortable waiting room and a multitude of nearby shops and amenities.

Fantastic Track Record

Our Reputation speaks for itself, we have the highest number of positive reviews in the area, and always ensure that our patients leave happy with the service and treatment where possible.

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