Cleft palate/cleft lip are the most common types of birth defects. About one baby in 2,000 is born with a cleft palate, and one in 1,000 is born with a cleft lip. Cleft palate/cleft lips occur when the two sides of either the roof of the mouth (palate) or the lips fail to fuse in the embryo. The cause of this birth defect is unknown. The incidence of cleft palate alone is about 30% of these defects; cleft lip alone is about 20%, and cleft palate and cleft lip have about 50% of these defects.
A cleft palate is a congenital condition that affects the palate's structure, often requiring early intervention and a comprehensive treatment approach. With timely medical care and ongoing support, individuals with cleft palate can lead healthy, fulfilling lives and overcome the conditions' associated challenges.
Types of Cleft Palate:
A cleft palate can manifest in different ways, and its severity varies. The primary types include:
- Incomplete Cleft Palate (Soft Palate Cleft): In this form, a cleft or gap occurs in the soft tissue at the back of the mouth, known as the soft palate. This may or may not extend into the hard palate.
- Complete Cleft Palate (Hard and Soft Palate Cleft): This type involves a cleft that affects both the soft palate and the hard palate, creating a more extensive gap.
- Submucous Cleft Palate: In this less common type, the cleft is covered by a thin layer of oral lining mucosa, making it less visible.
A cleft lip is a congenital condition that affects the upper lip, often requiring early intervention and a comprehensive treatment approach. With timely medical care and ongoing support, individuals with cleft lip can lead healthy, fulfilling lives and overcome the challenges associated with the condition.
Symptoms and Complications:
Cleft lip can lead to various symptoms and potential complications, including:
- Feeding difficulties, such as the gap in the lip, can affect the baby's ability to form a proper seal while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
- Speech difficulties, such as cleft lip can impact articulation and pronunciation.
- Dental issues, such as misalignment of teeth.
- Hearing problems, particularly ear infections and potential hearing loss.
- Psychosocial challenges, such as the visible difference in the lip can affect self-esteem and social interactions.