What is Tongue Tie?

Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition in which your child’s tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by a band (lingual frenulum). While up to 10 percent of children can have some degree of tongue tie, not all children with tongue tie require intervention.

When your child’s tongue is limited in its mobility, this may result in difficulties with breast or bottle-feeding including decreased extraction of milk/formula with failure to thrive, maternal nipple or breast pain during feeding, or nipple injury with cracking or bruising from difficulty maintaining latch. Severe tongue tie that prevents the tongue from contacting the upper teeth also may contribute to difficulty with pronunciation of certain sounds.

If your child has tongue tie, a careful examination of the mouth and tongue can determine if the tongue tie is contributing to these problems. A minor procedure, called a frenotomy or frenulectomy, may be necessary to divide the tethering and release the tongue.