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, so it may interfere with breast-feeding. Someone 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.
Sometimes tongue-tie may not cause problems. Some cases may require a simple surgical procedure for correction.
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
Tongue-tie can affect a baby’s oral development, as well as the way he or she eats, speaks and swallows.