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Adult with ankyloglossia


  • Ankyloglossia (a tongue-tie) is usually diagnosed and treated in childhood.
  • Nevertheless, ankyloglossia may also be encountered in adults, in which case the tight lingual frenulum can be incised (frenotomy) under local anaesthesia.


  • A tight lingual frenulum may make it difficult to raise the tongue to the anterior palate thus hampering the making of certain sounds (e.g. D, T and S).
  • A patient with a tight lingual frenulum may also be unable to protrude the tongue outside the mouth making licking difficult.
  • In some cases the restricted mobility of the tongue may even affect oral hygiene.

Examining the patient

  • The lingual frenulum is too tight if
    • the frenulum is thick
    • on protrusion, the tip of the tongue becomes notched in midline
    • restriction on tongue movement is observed due to the above-mentioned reasons.


  • A tight symptomatic lingual frenulum can be incised (frenotomy) under local anaesthesia.
  • After the local anaesthesia has been applied, the lingual frenulum is incised near the inferior surface of the tongue taking care not to damage the openings of the submandibular gland, situated on either side of the lingual frenulum in the anteroinferior aspect, or any of the veins situated under the tongue.
  • The procedure is often almost bloodless, and sutures are not necessarily needed.
  • The mobility of the tongue should be actively promoted after frenotomy by doing extensive tongue movements during the mucous membrane healing period (about 1 week).

Copyright © 2017 Duodecim Medical Publications Limited.
Adult with ankyloglossia is a sample topic from the Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines.

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"Adult With Ankyloglossia." Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, Duodecim Medical Publications Limited, 2019. Evidence Central, evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/457658/all/Adult_with_ankyloglossia.
Adult with ankyloglossia. Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/457658/all/Adult_with_ankyloglossia. Accessed March 23, 2019.
Adult with ankyloglossia. (2019). In Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Available from https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/457658/all/Adult_with_ankyloglossia
Adult With Ankyloglossia [Internet]. In: Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. [cited 2019 March 23]. Available from: https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/457658/all/Adult_with_ankyloglossia.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Adult with ankyloglossia ID - 457658 BT - Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines UR - https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/457658/all/Adult_with_ankyloglossia PB - Duodecim Medical Publications Limited DB - Evidence Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -