Cleft lip & palate is a condition when a baby is born with an opening in the upper lip or the roof of the mouth (palate). The condition of cleft lip and palate might differ from baby to baby. He or she might have any of the following:
- Only a cleft lip
- Only a cleft palate
- Both a cleft lip and a cleft palate
Symptoms of cleft lip and palate
Cleft lip and palate can easily be recognized right after a child is born. In a few conditions, cleft lip becomes difficult to identify, especially when it is at the back of the mouth (submucous cleft palate). Such cases came up later when a child faces following difficulties:
- Problem with feedings
- Nasal speaking voice
- Difficulty swallowing (such as the food come out the nose)
- Chronic ear infections
What are the causes of cleft lip and palate?
The cause of Cleft lip and cleft palate is still not completely clear. Some researchers claim that it is in the genes and also caused by environmental factors. While others say that it happens due to the living habit during pregnancy.
Cleft lip and palate happen inside a mother’s womb when the tissues which are responsible for the face and mouth does not form properly. These tissues are usually formed in the initial months of pregnancy. But in some babies with this problem the fusion of tissue is either haven’t taken place or has partially developed.
What factors causes cleft lip and cleft palate in babies?
There are some known and some unknown factor of cleft lip. Below are the most common ones.
- Consumption of alcohol and smoking during pregnancy
- Diabetic Mothers
- Family history and genetic factors.
- Teratogenic drugs( drugs affecting embryo development) consumed during pregnancy.
- Obese pregnant patients.
What problems are faced by a baby with cleft lip/ palate?
Babies with such mouth problem face multiple difficulties. Which may vary from condition to condition.
- Difficulty feeding.
- Speech difficulties.
- Dental problems.
- Ear infections and hearing loss.
- Challenges of coping with a medical condition.
- The cleft lip and palate can be treated through surgery. Although the combination of surgeries may also be required like dental care, speech therapy, ear tube surgery, etc.
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