Frenula are little strings of tissue found in various parts of the mouth, such as underneath the tongue, inside the cheeks, near the back molars and under the top lip. While an embryo is developing in the womb, these strings guide the growth of some mouth structures. Once we are born, the frenula are largely unimportant, although they seem to help in positioning the baby teeth.
The frenulum under the tongue is called the lingual frenum. Tongue-tie is a condition where tongue movement is restricted due to a short lingual frenum. For example, some people have difficulty licking around their lips, or raising the tongue tip inside their mouth. This can mean that they have difficulties with eating and pronunciation of certain letters of the alphabet. The medical name for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia.
Estimates vary, but around two per cent of babies may be affected by tongue-tie. Tongue-tie can resolve in early childhood if the frenum ‘loosens’ by itself, allowing the tongue to move freely for eating and speech. However, in some cases, the child may need to have a surgical procedure known as a frenectomy to release the tongue.
(The above information was obtained from the BetterHealth Channel
Tongue-ties can be either anterior (below picture on the right) or posterior (image on the left).
Both types of tongue-ties can cause breastfeeding issues.