Cleft lip and cleft palate are maxillofacial disorders related to the jaws and face. Cleft lip appears when there is a split or opening in the lip. The split may vary in size to connect the upper lip and nose. A cleft palate appears when the baby’s upper lip is not developing inside the mother’s womb. The palate consists of two parts, hard palate and soft palate. The soft palate is located inside the mouth and is made up of soft tissue. The hard palate is the bony portion, which is visible due to absence of the upper lip. Cleft palate and lip is the most common birth condition there are more than 1 million cases per in India.
Causes of cleft palate and lip
- The exact cause of Cleft Palate and lip is not known. However, doctors say that genetic and environmental factors may lead to the development of this disorder. For example, the baby may have inherited a gene that makes a cleft palate and lip.
- Mother’s unhealthy habits during the pregnancy also increase the risk of child developing this disease. Factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, diabetes, doing drugs, lack of essential proteins and vitamins in the diet, will have a direct effect on a child’s health.
Diagnosis of cleft palate and lip
- When you try to feed milk to the baby, it may come out of his mouth, because barricading between the mouth and the nose is not yet fully developed.
- Children with cleft also have the possibility of developing dental problems, such as missing teeth or absence of teeth.
- Feeding problems, speech impairment and ear infections are some other common symptoms from which child may through due to the non-development of the upper lip.
Ultrasound is used to diagnose Cleft palate and lip
, when the child is still inside the womb. The ultrasound creates the image of the baby and let doctor discover if there is any other abnormality in the baby.
The treatment of Cleft palate and lip depends upon the seriousness of the problem. The treatment of Cleft palate and lip generally, involves the surgery to close the opening and re-build the lip.
Surgery for repairing the cleft lip must be performed within 12 months of age and surgery of cleft palate by the age of 18 months. Follow up surgery should be done between the age of two and late teen years.
Treatment of Cleft palate and lip may involve the team of doctors and experts, including: