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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 488-492
Lingual frenulum and malocclusion: An overlooked tissue or a minor issue

1 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, PMNM Dental College and Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Hitech Dental College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

Correspondence Address:
Anna Cecilia Vaz
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, PMNM Dental College and Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.172044

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Context: Tongue-tie (more formally known as ankyloglossia) is a congenital anomaly characterized by an abnormally short lingual frenulum, which may restrict mobility of the tongue tip impairing its ability to fulfill its functions. The clinical significance of ankyloglossia is varied; rarely symptomatic to a host of problems including infant feeding difficulties, speech disorders, malocclusions, and others. Aims: The need of this study was to evaluate the occurrence and severity of tongue-tie and its association with the type of malocclusions in two populations and also to correlate the various malocclusion traits with the grades of tongue-tie. Subjects and Methods: A total of 700 school children in the age group of 9-17 years were examined for the presence of tongue-tie, 350 from regular schools and 350 from special schools. The presence was evaluated, measured, and graded into Grades I-V according to Kotlow's method. The malocclusion was assessed according to Angle's classification. Severity of crowding was assessed by Little's irregularity index in each case. Various other malocclusion traits were visually assessed, in relation to the positions of the teeth. Statistical Analysis Used: Spearman's rank correlation method was used to test the relationship between type of malocclusions, grades of tongue-tie and severity of crowding. Significance was considered at the (P < 0.05) level. Results: Statistically significant differences were seen between grades of tongue-tie and Angle's types of malocclusion and Spearman's correlation between them showed negative correlation. The Spearman's correlation showed a negative correlation between tongue-tie grades and severity of crowding. Conclusions: 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.

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