Anatomy and Variations of the Lingual Frenum and Sublingual Surface
The tongue is dynamically related to various oral functions such as speech, breathing, swallowing, and breastfeeding. It is guided forward by the lingual frenum during growth. The frenum is a single fold that tenses between the sublingual surface and the lingual alveolar mucosa and consists of connective tissue covered by the mucosa without major nerves or vessels. Structural disorders and abnormal attachment of the lingual frenum can result in ankyloglossia, a congenital oral anomaly commonly known as “tongue-tie.” Severe ankyloglossia can entail various functional disorders of the tongue. The sublingual glands located in the sublingual space sometimes induce mucoceles. In this chapter, the normal anatomy and variations of the lingual frenum and sublingual surface are reviewed and their clinical relevance is discussed.
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