Tongue-tie, also known as 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 their tongue or moving it from side to side.
1. Genetics: Tongue-tie predisposition. often runs in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
2. Sex: It is more common in boys than in girls.
3. Certain Genetic Syndromes: Certain conditions that affect the muscles and nerves, like Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, can also increase the risk of having tongue-tie.
As a congenital condition, tongue-tie can’t be prevented. The focus is usually on managing symptoms and correcting the tongue’s mobility to ensure normal feeding, speech development, and oral hygiene.
Myths, Misconceptions, and Facts
Myth: All babies with tongue-tie need treatment.
Fact: Many babies with tongue-tie don’t have issues that require treatment. Treatment is typically considered when tongue-tie interferes with feeding or speech.
Myth: Tongue-tie will naturally correct itself over time.
Fact: While some children may adapt to tongue-tie, not all do, and it may lead to speech or feeding difficulties.
Myth: Tongue-tie surgery is a major procedure.
Fact: The surgery, known as a frenotomy, is quick and often performed without anesthesia in newborns.