What is tongue tie?

‘tongue-tie,’ or  Ankyloglossia,   is a congenital defect that hinders the movement of the tongue. The underside of the tongue will be attached to the floor of the mouth by the frenulum, as 11% of the babies born with the similar condition meaning that it is considered a common occurrence. 

Tongue-tie is more common in boys, and can present a wide range of problems if the condition is severe enough. Newborns with tongue-tie are much more likely to have problems in breastfeeding, which can result in problems of its own. 

In more severe cases, even the tip of the tongue can be attached to the floor of the mouth by the lingual frenulum. This limited tongue movement may present a wide range of issues for infants. Tongue-tie is usually diagnosed and treated because of issues with speech, eating, drinking, and dental issues, among other symptoms.

Uppal dental Clinic in chandigah
Uppal dental Clinic in chandigah

Common symptoms in babies with tongue-tie include

How is tongue tie diagnosed, and who diagnoses

Because of this, tongue-tie may be diagnosed by a lactation consultant, or breastfeeding specialist, after a physical examination when the mother raises concerns about the breastfeeding pain. However, the baby may also be diagnosed by his or her pediatrician if they are underweight, or not getting enough nutrients.

In toddlers and children, tongue-tie can present itself differently. For instance, a 6-year-old may have a hard time making an ‘r’ or ‘l’ sound, and it may seem like a speech problem. In this case, a speech pathologist may be the professional who diagnoses the condition.


On the other hand, if the 6-year-old has a gap between the baby teeth on the bottom or top front teeth, excess saliva, or even tooth decay and/or cavities, a pediatric dentist may find the root cause of the issue after an oral exam. If the tongue-tie resolves itself on its own, the gaps between lower and upper front teeth can be fixed with orthodontic treatment, and a general dentist can help young adults with diligent oral care to prevent tooth decay.

Can tongue tie be treated, and if so, how?

Tongue tie is easily treatable with a simple procedure called ‘lingual frenectomy,’ also sometimes referred to as a ‘frenotomy procedure’ or even ‘tongue tie surgery.’

 The  surgical treatment is quick and nearly painless, since there aren’t many nerves in the frenulum. To perform a frenectomy, a board certified general or pediatric dentist or a pediatrician will use sterile surgical tools to cut the frenulum that ties the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This will result in freedom and increased motion of the tongue. Depending on the severity of the tongue-tie, a topical anesthetic may or may not be necessary. Occasionally, the doctor will recommend a laser frenectomy instead of a traditional one. 

The healing process is very quick as well