What is the medical term for Tongue Tied?


The medical term for tongue tied, Ankyloglossia, is a term many people don’t know about or are not fully aware of.  The term, ankyloglossia, comes from two greek words, agkilos, and glossa. Agkilos stands for loop or crooked and glossa, stands for the word tongue.

Up until today, there is no accepted standard on the criteria that is used to diagnose Ankyloglossia, not universally nor practical.  The frenulum, a particular tissue centered in the mouth,is a guide to how the structure of the mouth develops even before babies are born. When babies begin to grow and develop teeth, the frenulum continues to act as a guide, guiding the way the teeth grows and with each year of age, it thins out and recedes. Tongue mobility problems can come from the frenulum failing to recede or tightening up and this is where many people begin to see problems with speech, either in children or adults.

The tongue is used for swallowing and for speaking and is the main muscle in the mouth that assists people in doing so. People with tongue tie or ankyloglossia can have eating problems as well as speech problems later in life and need to seek the advice of a physician. Newborn babies often are born with a frenulum that is too tight and parents may notice sucking problems, especially if breastfeeding and the child is unable to latch on properly to the breast. Parents must seek the advice and treatment of a physician. The medical term for tongue tie, ankyloglossia, will most likely be mentioned by a pediatrician to new parents, especially if there seems to be a problem with feedings. Speech problems in children usually occur around the age of 3, so it is important to get the child checked as to not have any further problems awaiting.