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