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The terminology for

tongue-ties can be confusing because there are many ways to say the same thing.  


Below is a list of definitions that you may find helpful.


Labial Frenum

Lingual Frenum

Submucosal or Posterior Tongue-Tie

A membrane that restricts the movement of an organ such as the tongue or upper lip.  It is the same as a frenulum.

A frenum that attaches the upper lip to the gum tissue at the midline.

A frenum that attaches the base of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If it is severely restrictive it is called ankyloglossia or tongue-tie.

A restrictive lingual frenum that is deep in the back of the tongue that can not be detected just by looking under the tongue but must be felt. These are often missed by practitioners who do not palpate for them. They are also frequently not effectively released if the practitioner merely snips the obvious part of the frenum without looking deeper. Check out Dr. Ghaheri's blog postings listed on the Resources page. Here is the link for his discussion of submucosal or posterior tongue-ties:

Frenectomy = Frenulectomy = Frenotomy = Frenulotomy = Frenoplasty

These are all terms for the same thing:  the surgical release of a restrictive frenum.  


There is a difference between a simple release which requires no stitches  (medical code 40101) and the complete removal of a frenum that involves stitches  (medical code 41115).    For infants with breastfeeding problems we do a simple release which we prefer to call a frenectomy.

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