Who is affected by tongue-tie

Tongue-tie is an inherited birth defect. Usually the mother or father or a close relative also had the condition. It is uncommon but not rare. It occurs in:1

  • Less than 5% of all children.
  • Boys 3 times more often than in girls.

Tongue-tie is more prevalent in babies whose mothers abused cocaine. Although tongue-tie may be the only birth defect a child has, it is frequently found in babies with other congenital conditions that affect the mouth and face, such as X-linked cleft palate.

The incidence of tongue-tie in adults is not known; however, it is believed to be less common in adults than in children.


  1. Lalakea ML, Messner AH (2003). Ankyloglossia: Does it matter? Pediatric Clinics of North America, 50(2): 381–397.

Last Updated: August 20, 2009

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