By Danica Katnik/

The Livingston County Health Department is hoping to raise awareness about the potential effects of tongue and lip ties among children, and how they can be diagnosed and treated.

Tongue and lip ties are conditions that some babies are born with that can restrict the tongue and upper lip's range of motion. A tongue tie results when any band of tissue underneath the tongue is shorter, thicker, and/or tighter than usual. A similar and sometimes co-occurring condition is a lip tie, which is when the piece of tissue behind the upper lip is too thick or stiff. Tongue and lip ties can cause problems related to feeding, speech and oral hygiene.

Tongue and lip ties are believed to be associated with genetic factors. Signs and symptoms of tongue ties include difficulty lifting the tongue to the roof of the mouth or upper teeth, and a “v” or heart shape at the tip of the tongue when sticking out. Lip ties may be identified by a clicking sound the baby makes while nursing, and poor latch while breastfeeding.

Health Promotion Coordinator Natasha Radke says the LCHD is working to educate the community about both conditions and what can be done to treat them with a second release in the Road to Community Health: Children’s Oral Health series. The goal is to guide parents and caregivers to the appropriate resources and information. Radke says in addressing tongue and lip ties, parents and caregivers should consult with their doctor, dentist, occupational therapist and/or speech pathologist for a multi-pronged approach.

The latest volume of the Children’s Oral Health Series is attached below.