Cleft lip and palate are gaps in the top lip or roof of a baby's mouth (palate). They are congenital disabilities that occur during the development of a fetus in the uterus. Cleft lips and palates occur when the tissues of the upper lip and roof of the mouth fail to fuse properly during fetal development. Cleft lip and palate repair necessitates surgery. Visit Clark Ortho, for the best care possible.
The Problems Associated with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Food and liquids may pass from the mouth back into the nose if there is a separation or opening in the palate. Fortunately, specially designed infant bottles and nipples are available to help maintain fluids moving downward toward the stomach. Children with cleft palates may need to wear an artificial palate to help them eat properly and get enough nourishment until surgical repair is available.
Fluid buildup in the middle ear is more common in children with cleft palate. If neglected, this leads to hearing loss.
Children with cleft palate may have difficulty speaking. Their voices are nasally, and their speech may be difficult to understand. These issues do not affect all children, and surgery may completely resolve them.
Children with clefts are more likely to have dental issues such as cavities and missing, deformed, or misplaced teeth.
Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment
The severity of the cleft, the child's age and needs, and accompanying syndromes or other congenital disabilities all influence services and treatment for children with orofacial clefts. Cleft lip surgery is commonly performed in the first few months of life and is advised during the first 12 months. Cleft palate surgery should be performed within the first 18 months of life. As children grow older, many will require additional surgical treatments.
Surgical repair can enhance the appearance and look of a child's face, breathing, hearing, and speech and language development. Children with orofacial clefts may require additional treatments and services, such as special dental or orthodontic care and speech therapy. Most children with orofacial clefts do well and live healthy lives with treatment. If they are concerned about visual differences between themselves and other children, some children with orofacial clefts may experience low self-esteem. Parent-to-parent support groups can benefit families with babies born with head and face deformities, such as orofacial clefts.
Children with cleft palates frequently experience eating, hearing, and speaking difficulties. Children may also suffer from tooth problems or low self-esteem. Visit Clark Ortho at 23 North Main Street, Lombard, IL 60148, for the best care tailored to your child's needs.