[Section of the sublingual frenulum. Are the indications correct?]

Cir Pediatr. 1999 Oct;12(4):161-4.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To see the relationship of the lingual frenum with speech and other oral functions, evaluating the surgical indications and the results of frenectomy.

Material and methods: In 1997 we operated 72 children with sublingual frenulum, a telephone questionnaire to the mothers of these patients was done, obtaining data about: age at surgery, professional reasons for referral, preoperative findings, pre-post operative speech therapy, place of surgery and type of anesthesia and mother's impression about the final result.

Results: Fifty valid questionnaires were obtained, the mean age at frenectomy was 3.03 years, 38% of children were sent due to speech problems, 60% due to some degree of tongue-tie and 2% due to dentofacial developmental anomalies. In 70% the patients were sent by a pediatrician and in 14% by a speech therapist. In 20% preoperative speech therapy was done and postoperatively in 30%. In 48% of cases, aged less than 2 years, speech was not possible to be evaluated. In the 11 cases with questionable results, a multidisciplinary reevaluation showed 7 cases with lingual dysfunction and poor tongue control, 4 cases with deglutitory anomalies and 3 cases with orofacial occlusal problems secondary to lingual dysfunction or altered oral habits.

Conclusions: The presence of a nondisturbing lingual frenulum does not justify its surgical section, the frenectomy is indicated only in presence of altered oro-lingual functions caused by the tongue-tie such as: speech problems, errors of bite and deglutition, lingual dysfunction and anomalous oral habits.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lingual Frenum / abnormalities
  • Lingual Frenum / surgery*
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Speech Disorders / surgery
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tongue Diseases / etiology
  • Tongue Diseases / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome