chapter  28
Oral and Oropharyngeal Disease
ByLorien M. Paulson
Pages 8

DEFINITION AND CLINICAL FEATURES Ankyloglossia, commonly referred to as “tongue tie,” represents a restriction of tongue motion due to a tight or thick lingual frenulum. Symptoms vary from asymptomatic to impaired latching during breastfeeding and insufficient feeding. Although controversial, some feel that

ankyloglossia may also contribute to speech difficulties later in life particularly if the tongue is unable to touch the upper incisors during articulation. There is also concern for oral hygiene if there is difficulty sweeping the tongue over the teeth and gingivobuccal sulci. Ankyloglossia is most often diagnosed at birth either on physical exam or after difficulties with breastfeeding. This may lead to prolonged, inefficient

feeding sessions or painful chapped nipples. Affected infants will often have a tight frenulum and a “heart-shaped” tongue on attempted protrusion.