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- Cleft Lip & Palate
What is cleft lip & cleft palate?
Cleft means 'split' or 'separation'. During early pregnancy separate areas of the face develop individually and then join together. If some parts do not join properly the result is a cleft, the type and severity of which can vary.
A cleft lip is a condition that creates an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and nose. It looks as though there is a split in the lip. It can range from a slight notch in the colored portion of the lip to complete separation in one or both sides of the lip extending up and into the nose .A cleft on one side is called a unilatral cleft. If a cleft occurs on both sides it is called a bilateral cleft.
A cleft in the gum may occur in association with a cleft lip. This may range from a small notch in the gum to a complete division of the gum into separate parts.
A cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth has not joined completely. The back of the palate (towards the throat) is called the soft palate and the front (toward the mouth) is known as the hard palate. If you feel the inside of your mouth with your tongue, you will be able to notice the difference between the soft and the hard palate. A cleft palate can range from just an opening at the back of the soft palate to a nearly complete separation of the roof of the mouth (soft and hard palate).
* Information courtesy of www.CLAPA.com