Objective: We wanted to determine whether ankyloglossia is associated with articulation problems and the effect of frenuloplasty on speech and tongue mobility.
Study design: We conducted a prospective study of 30 children aged 1 to 12 years with ankyloglossia undergoing frenuloplasty. Outcomes were assessed by measurements of tongue mobility, speech evaluation, and parent questionnaires.
Results: Mean tongue protrusion improved from 14.2 mm preoperatively to 25.8 mm postoperatively (P < 0.01). Similarly, mean tongue elevation improved from 5.2 to 22 mm (P < 0.01). Preoperative speech pathology evaluation documented articulation problems thought due to ankyloglossia in 15 of 21 children. Postoperative evaluation in 15 of these children showed improvement in articulation in 9, no change in 4 who had normal speech preoperatively, and an ongoing articulation disorder in 2. Parent perception of speech intelligibility on a scale of 1 to 5 improved from 3.4 to 4.2 (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Tongue mobility and speech improve significantly after frenuloplasty in children with ankyloglossia who have articulation problems.