Cleft palate

From Academic Kids

Cleft palate is a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined. In some cases, cleft lip is present as well.

Contents

Complications

Cleft palate may cause problems with feeding, ear disease, and speech. Some of the primary and permanent teeth may also be missing. When the lip is cleft as well, the person may face social stigma.

Causes

A cleft in the palate is normally present in early embryos; usually these clefts close five or six weeks after conception. The causes of the cleft remaining open are poorly understood. Possibilities include genetics, drugs, infections, maternal illness, maternal smoking and alcohol use, and deficiency of folic acid.

In some cases, cleft palate is caused by syndromes which also cause other problems.

Treatment

Cleft palate can be corrected by surgery, usually performed between 9 and 18 months. Repeated surgeries are often necessary as the child grows.

External links

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