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What Is a Cleft Lip and Palate?

Posted on 11/22/2021 by Fariba Mutschler
What Is a Cleft Lip and Palate?A cleft lip and palate are two separate conditions, but they frequently occur together. As a result, they are usually mentioned as interrelated conditions. Fortunately, modern medicine has made treating these conditions much more effective.

A cleft lip is a split in the lip. This condition is a birth defect and is usually detected during the anatomy scan somewhere between 18 and 21 weeks, according to Healthline. However, not all cleft lips are easy to detect. This can delay detection or allow it to go completely undetected until the birth of your child.

A cleft palate is a split in the palate at the top of your child's mouth. A cleft palate can occur by itself or as part of a cleft syndrome. The consequences of cleft palate include difficulty with speaking and also with feeding. Cleft palate is even more difficult to diagnose than cleft lip and often time goes undetected.

Cleft palate and cleft syndrome are rare conditions. According to WebMD, there are fewer than 20,000 cases per year in the United States. Despite its rarity, cleft syndrome can still present significant complications for those affected.

How Are Cleft Lips and Palates Treated?

Cleft lips and palates have one primary treatment option, surgery. Surgery for these conditions involves closing the opening and restoring more normal function for your child. Surgical treatment options result in minimal scarring and can provide your child with a seamless restoration of both function and appearance.

However, the severe cleft syndrome can result in residual speech disorders. These disorders will require treatment through speech therapy to allow for more normalized speech patterns. If your child has been diagnosed or born with the cleft syndrome, prompt treatment can limit their risk of complications. Contact our office for more information.
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Dr. Fariba Mutschler & Dr. Mark Mutschler have created this informative blog to help educate the community. If you like an article or the dental blog in general please use the share it button to post to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
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