Tongue-tie occurs when tongue movement is restricted by the presence of a short, tight membrane (known as the lingual frenulum) which stretches from the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
The lingual frenulum is a remnant from the pre-natal period.
As the tongue differentiates from the floor of the mouth, as the baby develops in the womb, the cells under the tongue regress backwards from the tip of the tongue often leaving a small strand of tissue at the base of the tongue (the lingual frenulum).
This strand of tissue is visible when the tongue is lifted and is normal anatomy. However, when the lingual frenulum is short, tight, and inelastic, extends along the underside of the tongue or is attached close to the lower gum it will interfere with the normal movement and function of the tongue and this is a tongue-tie.
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There are different types of tongue-ties. Some are very obvious due to the appearance of the tongue.
Where the frenulum is attached close to, or at the tongue tip a notch will be visible in the tip of the tongue and the tongue will appear heart shaped or forked.
° Tongue-tie in Babies: A Guide for Parents / Written by Sarah Oakley BA (Hons) RGN RHV IBCLC / Independent Lactation Consultant, Health Visitor and Tongue-tie Practitioner
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