Ankyloglossia, otherwise known as tongue-tie, is the partial or full attachment of the tongue to the bottom of the infant's mouth. Tongue-tie causes a significant portion of of the problems encountered with breastfeeding. It also is thought to pose other short term and long term complications, such as speech impediments, problems with swallowing, and the formation of teeth arrangement. There is some controversy over the defining characteristics of tongue-tie as well as the treatments.

Video Chapter 1:
Hazelbaker Score Assessment. Determining the need for Frenotomy.

Definition of Tongue-Tie:

By definition, complete ankyloglossia is the total adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Partial ankyloglossia is incomplete separation of the tongue from the bottom of the mouth due to a short frenulum, which is a fibrous membrane extending from the bottom of the tongue to an area below the bottom front teeth. Tongue-tie can be evident when the baby is crying or by careful inspection.

There are certain facial features that have been found to be associated with a short frenulum.

  • High-arched palate: characterized by a higher than normal arch of the roof of the mouth.
  • Retrognathia: very small chin.
  • Micrognathia: a recessed or undefined chin.
  • Prognathism: a protruding lower jaw.

References :

References :
Jeanne L. Ballard, Christine E. Auer and Jane C. Khoury
Ankyloglossia: Assessment, Incidence, and Effect of Frenuloplasty on the
Breastfeeding Dyad J Pediatrics 2002;110;63-DOI: 10.1542/peds.110.5.e63

About Dr. Ballard

Dr. Ballard is an associate professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. More ...