Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

What Is The Difference Between A Cleft Lip and A Cleft Palate?

A cleft lip and a cleft palate are both openings in the upper lip or mouth. This occurs in the natural development of facial structure during birth. A cleft lip is when the opening is located in the upper lip, often extending to the nose. A cleft palate is when the opening extends from the roof of the mouth to the nose.


How Does A Cleft Lip or Palate Affect A Child’s Face?

Both a cleft lip and a cleft palate are genetic conditions that can be quite common. Although they are common for birth defects, they can greatly impact a child’s life. A cleft lip or palate can cause difficulty swallowing. It can also cause a nasal voice as well as chronic ear infections. Since a cleft lip or palate is a noticeable, facial defect, this can have an emotional impact on the child especially if it impacts other aspects of the mouth.

What Causes A Cleft Lip or Palate?

These conditions are caused when the facial tissues of an unborn baby do not fuse correctly. This condition may be caused by both genetic and environmental factors, but there is usually no definitive answer. Other causes include diabetes, obesity during pregnancy or exposure to cigarette smoke or alcohol during pregnancy. Boys are usually more likely to have a cleft lip while it is more common for girls to have a cleft palate.

What Problems Can a Cleft Lip or Palate Cause?

There are several issues that can arise from having a cleft palate or lip. Not only can it cause difficulty when feeding, but ear infections and hearing loss can also occur. Many children and adults with a cleft lip or palate may have dental problems. These can range from minor to major issues depending on the person.

If you are in need of any dental treatments due to a cleft lip or cleft palate, visit us at the Islington Dental Clinic in Toronto. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.



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