Cleft Lip and Palate
Alternate Names : Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Oral Cleft
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms of cleft lip and cleft palate vary from person to person, depending on the extent of the defect. Cleft lip may show up only as a small notch in the border of the upper lip. It may also involve a complete split of the lip that extends into the floor of the nose. Cleft lip may involve one or both sides of the upper lip. Often, the bone that supports the upper teeth is involved to some degree. Extra, missing, or deformed teeth may also be part of cleft lip. Frequently, the outside of the nostril is somewhat flattened, too.
Cleft palate may involve only the uvula, or it may involve the entire roof of the mouth. The uvula is the soft, fleshy mass that hangs down from the roof of the back of the mouth.
Cleft lip and palate may be associated with other birth defects. Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that are usually visible at birth. Some mild types of cleft palate may not be seen but can be detected by nasal speech or other types of speech problems.
Babies with cleft lip do not usually have feeding problems or speech impairments. Infants with cleft palate, with or without cleft lip, often have difficulty feeding and impaired speech. The baby may feed too slowly, take in too much air while eating, or bring milk up through the nose.