Tongue tie

Alternative Names

Ankyloglossia; Frenulum

Definition of Tongue tie

Tongue tie is a condition in which the bottom of the tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth by a band of tissue called the lingual frenulum.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The exact cause of tongue tie is not known.


In a newborn or infant, the symptoms of tongue tie are similar to the symptoms in any child who is having problems with breast feeding, including:

Signs and tests

Most experts do not recommend that health care providers examine newborns for tongue tie unless there are breast-feeding problems.


Most breast-feeding problems can be easily managed with a variety of strategies.


Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/12/2010


ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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