Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate
A cleft lip involves a gap in the lip of an individual at birth while a cleft palate is a gap in the roof of the mouth at birth. These conditions can happen either separately or together. Cleft lip and cleft palate may involve difficulty speaking and feeding and can cause an individual to develop ear infections, hearing problems, and/or teeth problems. These conditions are caused when the tissue making up the lip or palate doesn’t completely join in the mother’s womb prior to birth. Cleft lip and cleft palate may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy, family history of cleft lip or cleft palate, obesity during pregnancy, diabetes during pregnancy, lack of folic acid during pregnancy, and taking certain seizure medications or steroid tablets during pregnancy. Cleft lip with or without cleft palate is more common in males while cleft palate is more common in females. Cleft lip and cleft palate are most often treated with surgery during the infant and early childhood years. Further dental, orthodontic, speech therapy, ENT, or psychology follow-up may be required for patients with cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, December 28). Facts about cleft lip and cleft palate. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html.
Cleveland Clinic. (2018, December 20). Cleft lip and palate. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10947-cleft-lip-and-palate.
John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Cleft lip and palate. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cleft-lip-and-palate.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, May 22). Cleft lip and cleft palate. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cleft-palate/symptoms-causes/syc-20370985.
National Health Service. (2019, August 13). Cleft lip and palate. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cleft-lip-and-palate/.