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Definition of cleft lip and palate

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common defects in the United States today at birth. Cleft lip upper lip is when a baby has not joined correctly. A cleft palate is when the structures of the palate have not been closed properly, leaving an open space in the roof of the mouth. These defects can be inherited from one or both parents or can be caused by environmental issues during pregnancy, such as smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, prescribed drugs consumed, exposure to viruses or nutritional deficiency.

Diagnosis and treatment

Cleft lip and cleft palate are diagnosed at birth or by ultrasound during pregnancy. These cracks can be simple or more difficult to treat depending on the size of the aperture and how it affected breathing, eating and talking. Babies have difficulty feeding, such as sucking or may not have nasal regurgitation. Babies with cleft palate are more prone to ear infections and should be evaluated by an ear, nose and throat. As the lips and palate are crucial to form sounds, proper speech development is a major concern. A speech therapist can determine whether to continue therapy. You should also go to a pediatric dentist to monitor the development of the teeth.

Medical treatment

Babies with cleft lip usually undergo an operation between birth and three months. In contrast, those with cleft palate require a more involved surgical procedure carried out until they are one year old. Perhaps additional operations between the two years and well into adolescence are needed. In addition, a medical intervention with respect to speech, behavior and psychological factors of the baby or child may also be required.

Surgical Options for the future

The study suggests that doctors may soon provide treatment in the uterus for cleft lip and cleft palate.

Someday, surgeons can perform minimally invasive procedures before birth, with few small incisions and scars or no.

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