A condition with a gap and an open space along the lip is referred to as a cleft lip. The space between the upper lip and the nose can be tiny or big. According to an experienced New West dentist, a cleft palate also develops when the mouth’s roof does not correctly close during the fetus’s early development within the mother’s womb. The palate is divided into two sections: the hard and soft palates. Each of them can split the palate. More than 7,000 infants are born in the United States each year with cleft palate, which is also referred to as a type of congenital impairment affecting the mouth and teeth.
Symptoms of Cleft Palate and Lip
The most prominent and common sign of cleft lip is typically the appearance of a cleft along the lip. As a result of the defective mouth-to-nose barrier in these kids, milk may occasionally leak from your baby’s nose when it is being fed. Teeth issues could arise in kids with this congenital impairment. They could, for instance, have extra teeth or loose teeth.
Additionally, your child’s cleft palate may develop into eustachian tube issues and experience repeated middle ear infections. A duct called the Eustachian tube regulates the pressure on both sides of the eardrum and aids in the drainage of ear fluids. The Eustachian tubes of your child may become blocked, leading to ear infections and hearing loss.
Your child can have trouble speaking and pronouncing different words if they have a cleft lip or palate. Larynx or intranasal sounds are typically involved in speech issues brought on by clefts.
Causes of Cleft Palate and Lip
The cleft lip and palate’s precise cause is still unknown. But medical professionals think that hereditary and environmental variables have a role in developing this impairment. A kid may also have this defect if one or both parents have the faulty gene linked to the development of this disability.
In addition to genetic factors, researchers believe that doing some work during pregnancy can affect the development of cleft lip and palate in the fetus. For example, the following can cause such a defect:
- Drinking alcohol
- Drug abuse
- Being diabetic
- Not getting essential vitamins before pregnancy, such as folic acid
The ideal time to perform cleft lip and palate repair surgery is in the first year of his life. However, your child may need additional reconstruction and repair surgeries during their teenage years.
Cleft lip repair surgery
Getting a cleft lip repaired when your child is between 10 weeks and 1-year-old is advised. The doctor might decide to temporarily close the cleft if your child has a particular aperture until major repair surgery can be scheduled.
Your child will be put under anesthesia for the cleft lip reconstruction procedure, during which the surgeon will use both divided lip margins to seal the gap and widen the child’s lip.
Cleft palate repair surgery
Typically, cleft palate surgery is done when a child is between 6 and 18 months old. The palate or roof of the mouth muscles and tissues on both sides are surgically linked to close the gap. The healing process takes a little longer in this treatment because it could be challenging if the child doesn’t cooperate.