Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue's range of motion. With tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth. A person who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, as well as interfere with breast-feeding.
Signs and symptoms of tongue-tie include Difficulty lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving the tongue from side to side, Trouble sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth, a tongue that appears notched or heart shaped when stuck out
Treatment for tongue-tie is controversial. Some doctors and lactation consultants recommend correcting it right away — even before a newborn is discharged from the hospital. Others prefer to take a wait-and-see approach.
Surgical treatment of tongue-tie may be done for infants, children or adults if tongue-tie causes problems. Surgical procedures are frenotomy or frenuloplasty.
Statistics: The reported prevalence varies from <1 percent to 10.7 percent. Most series identify an increased frequency in boys with a male to female ratio of 1.5:1 to 2.6:1. 60% of otolaryngologists and 50% of speech pathologists answered that ankyloglossia is sometimes associated with speech difficulties compared to only 23% of pediatricians; 67% of otolaryngologists compared with 21% of pediatricians answered that ankyloglossia is sometimes associated with social and mechanical difficulties. Limitations of this study include a reduced sample size due to unreturned or incomplete surveys.