Ankyloglossia or Tongue tie

Ankyloglossia or tongue tie is a congenital condition that results when the inferior lingual frenulum is too short and is attached to the tip of the tongue, limiting its normal movements. Ankyloglossia can lead to a range of problems such as difficulties in breast feeding, speech impediments, poor oral hygiene, malocclusion, inability in deglutition, thus being an undesired problem in normal life activity.

Etymologically, ‘ankyloglossia’ originates from the Greek words ‘agkilos’ (curved) and ‘glossa’ (tongue). Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, can be observed in neonates, children or adults.

Ankyloglossia is a developmental anomaly characterized by an abnormally short lingual frenulum and attachment of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The condition is the result of a failure in cellular degeneration leading to a much longer anchor between the floor of the mouth and the tongue. The pathogenesis of ankyloglossia is unknown. Management for ankyloglossi includes timely and appropriate surgical intervention, followed by speech therapy which delivers pleasing results, often in a less time than expected. Surgical techniques for ankyloglossia can be classified into three procedures: (i) Simple cutting of the frenulum i.e. Frenotomy (ii) Complete excision of the whole frenulum i.e. frenectomy (iii) Frenuloplasty involves various methods to release the ankyloglossia and correct the anatomic situation.

Author’s comments

Tongue tie limits the functional ability and social embarrassment due to speech problem of the individual. Due to this condition, correction like combined surgical intervention and speech therapy is needed at the earliest.

Resources: Untying the Tongue Tie: A case report @ https://doi.org/10.18320/JIMD/201704.0372

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