Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip

Cleft lip or palate is birth defect that affects the upper lip and the roof of a child's mouth.  This happens when the roof of the mouth does not develop normally during the mother’s pregnancy, leaving an opening in the hard or soft palate that may go through the nasal cavity.  Cleft lip or cleft palate is the most common birth defect of the head and neck.  Until it is treated with surgery, a cleft palate or lip can cause problems with feeding, speech and hearing.

Symptoms for Cleft palate or lip are misaligned teeth, change in nose shape, failure to gain weight, feeding problems, flow of milk through nasal passage, poor growth, ear infections, also speech difficulties.

Surgery to close the cleft lip is often done when the child is between 6- 9 months old.  Surgery may be needed later on the nose area.  A cleft palate is usually closed with within the first year of life so that the Child's speech normally develops.

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