Cleft Lip and Palate
What is cleft palate?
Cleft palate is a condition that occurs when the roof of the mouth (aka the palate) does not completely close during development, leaving an opening, or cleft. It is a congenital condition, meaning that it is present from birth.
The cleft may involve either side of the palate, though the left side is more common. It can extend from the front of a baby's mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate).
Cleft palate may occur on its own, or it may be associated with cleft lip.
What is cleft lip?
Cleft lip is a congenital condition in which the upper lip does not completely close during fetal development. The degree of the cleft lip can vary greatly, from mild (a small notching of the lip) to severe (a large opening from the lip up through the nose). Cleft lip is often more noticeable than cleft palate.