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Lingual frenulum and malocclusion: An overlooked issue?

Ankyloglossia, characterized by an abnormally short lingual frenulum, can lead to problems as varied as infant feeding difficulties, speech disorders, and malocclusions.

A fairly recent study* evaluated the occurrence, type, and severity of tongue-tie in association with malocclusion in two school-age populations.

Seven hundred children between 9 and 17 years old were examined, by Kotlow’s method and by Angle’s classification system, for the presence of tongue-tie, 350 from regular schools and 350 from special schools. Severity of crowding was assessed by Little's irregularity index.

Statistically significant differences were found between grades of tongue-tie and Angle's types of malocclusion, and Spearman analysis showed a negative correlation between tongue-tie grades and severity of crowding. As the grade of tongue-tie increased, its association with Classes I and II malocclusion decreased. The lower grades of tongue-tie are associated with increased lower incisor crowding. Shorter, tight frenulums are more associated with maxillary constriction, anterior open bite, and spacing of the lower anteriors.

*Vaz AC, Bai PM. Lingual frenulum and malocclusion: An overlooked tissue or a minor issue. Indian J Dent Res. 2015 Sep-Oct;26(5):488-92. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.172044.

MyoNews from BreatheWorksTM is a report on trends and developments in oromyofunctional disorder and therapy. These updates are not intended as diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome.

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