Cleft Lip & Palate | Symptoms & Causes | Diagnosis

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What is Cleft Lip & Palate?

Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital anomalies of the mouth and lip that occur during pregnancy. In a cleft lip, the two sides of the lip do not fuse together as they should during fetal development. With cleft palate, the roof of the mouth fails to form completely, during pregnancy. A child may be born with a cleft lip, a cleft palate or both.
Cleft lip can be mild or severe with a single cleft or double cleft. Cleft palate can range from a tiny little hole in back of the roof of the mouth to a major cavity that runs all the way from the front to the back of the mouth.
Cleft in lip and/or palate is treatable. The goal of treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate is to ensure the child's ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe and to achieve a normal facial appearance.If not treated, the child may suffer from

  1. Poor speech
  2. Impaired hearing and frequent ear infection
  3. Regurgitation of food and liquids, through the nose
  4. Frequent upper respiratory tract infections


The development of the face is coordinated by advanced morphogenetic events and speedy proliferative enlargement, and is therefore extremely susceptible to environmental and genetic factors, rationalising the high incidence of facial malformations. throughout the first six to eight weeks of gestation, the shape of the embryo's head is formed. 5 primitive tissue lobes grow:one from the top of the head down towards the longer term upper lip (frontonasal prominence);two from the cheeks, that meet the first lobe to create the higher lip (maxillar prominence);and slightly below, 2 extra lobes grow from both sides, that form the chin and lower lip (mandibular prominence).If these tissues fail to satisfy, a niche appears wherever the tissues ought to have joined (fused). this might happen in any single connection website, or simultaneously in many or all of them. The ensuing congenital abnormality reflects the locations and severity of individual fusion failures (e.g., from a small lip or surface fissure up to a very misshapen face).The higher lip is made earlier than the palate, from the primary 3 lobes named a to c on top of. Formation of the surface is that the last step in connection the 5 embryonic facial lobes, and involves the rear parts of the lobes b and c. These back parts ar called palatal shelves, which grow towards each other till they fuse in the middle. This method is extremely prone to multiple toxic substances, environmental pollutants, and nutritional imbalance. The life mechanisms of mutual recognition of the 2 cupboards, and also the manner they're affixed along, ar quite advanced and obscure despite intensive research project.Orofacial clefts could also be related to a syndrome (syndromic) or might not be related to a syndrome (nonsyndromic). Syndromic clefts ar a part of syndromes that ar caused by a range of things like atmosphere associate degreed genetic science or an unknown cause. Nonsyndromic clefts, that aren't as common as syndromic clefts, even have a genetic cause.

Diagnosis & Tests

Traditionally, the diagnosis is made at the time of birth by physical examination. Recent advances in prenatal diagnosis have allowed obstetricians to diagnose facial clefts in utero with ultrasonography.

Clefts can also affect other parts of the face, such as the eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and forehead. In 1976, Paul Tessier described fifteen lines of cleft. Most of these craniofacial clefts are even rarer and are frequently described as Tessier clefts using the numerical locator devised by Tessier.

Prevention & Risk Factors

Taking multivitamin with folic acid in it daily helps prevent cleft lip and cleft palate in baby.

Treatments & Therapies

Cleft lip-Within the first 2-3 months after birth, surgery is performed to shut the cleft lip. whereas surgery to repair a cleft lip may be performed soon after birth, usually the preferred age is at close to ten weeks of age, following the "rule of tens" coined by surgeons Wilhelmmesen and Musgrave in 1969 (the kid is a minimum of ten weeks of age; weighs a minimum of 10 pounds, and has a minimum of 10g hemoglobin). If the cleft is bilateral and intensive, 2 surgeries could also be needed to shut the cleft, one side 1st, and therefore the second side some weeks later. Cleft Palate-Often a congenital anomaly is quickly covered by a palatal obturator (a prosthetic device created to suit the roof of the mouth covering the gap).Cleft palate may also be corrected by surgery, typically performed between 6 and twelve months. about 20-25% only need one palatal surgery to attain a competent velopharyngeal valve capable of producing traditional, non-hypernasal speech. However, combos of surgical ways and repeated surgeries ar usually necessary as the kid grows. one of the new innovations of cleft lip and cleft palate repair is that the Latham appliance. The Latham is surgically inserted by use of pins throughout the child's fourth or fifth month. when it's in place, the doctor, or parents, turn a screw daily to bring the cleft along to help with future lip or palate repair.If the cleft extends into the maxillary alveolar ridge, the gap is sometimes corrected by filling the gap with bone tissue. The bone tissue may be acquired from the patients own chin, rib or hip.