Cleft lip and cleft palate
A cleft lip or cleft palate is a condition in which parts of the lip and/or palate (the roof of the mouth) do not develop properly early in a pregnancy.
Children born with these conditions have a good quality of life and a normal life expectancy.
- Changes in your baby’s genes. They provide the basic plan for how your baby develops these genes are passed down from your parents.
- Not getting enough folic acid before pregnancy. Folic acid is a vitamin that can help protect your baby from birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects.
- Medicines, like anti-seizure medicine, during pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy.
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy
- Infections during pregnancy
- A cleft lip is usually surgically repaired in the hospital using general anesthesia when a child is 3 to 6 months old. At 9-12 months of age, a cleft palate usually can be repaired. The goal of surgery is to create a palate that works well for speech.
- Dental and Orthodontic Treatment
- Speech Therapy
About one in 1,000 babies are born with cleft lip/palate.
- About 50 percent of all clefts
- More common in Asians and certain groups of American Indians
- Occurs less frequently in African Americans
- Up to 13 percent of cases present with other birth defects
- Occurs more often in male children