A cleft lip occurs when a fissure in the upper lip is observed. In the United States, one of every 700 babies suffers from this condition. As in the case of cleft palate; this happens because during pregnancy, the two sides of the face fail to join properly. While no one knows exactly why this crack occurs, there are families who tend to be more susceptible. Some probable causes are: hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies and certain drugs used during pregnancy.
A cleft palate occurs when there is a direct crack in the middle of the palate (or roof of the mouth) and the floor of the nose. In pregnancy, the baby’s upper jaw does not close as it should and is a separation. Cleft palate is a more serious condition that cleft lip, although both require surgery to be corrected.
The child with cleft lip and / or cleft palate faces some difficulties in food, breathing, expressive and psychological type. To correct the condition, it is necessary to work with a team with a plastic surgeon, max illogical surgeon, paleontologist (ear, nose and ears), general dentist, orthodontist and oral surgeon.
How do I know if my baby has a cleft lip or palate?
The doctor who delivered the baby will tell you immediately if your baby has a cleft lip and / or palate. A cleft lip is identified at a glance. The cleft palate varies in size; on the roof of the mouth, can be found from a small crack to an opening large. Any of them will be visible immediately after birth. By feeding a baby with a cleft palate, it is possible that the liquid or food you eat is escaping through the nose, then it is recommended to use special bottles and take some care until the child is old enough to be operated.
How are the lips and / or cleft palate treated?
Surgically is easier to close a cleft lip repair a palate with the same condition. The procedure is performed at three or four months of birth and the scar usually disappears as the child grows.
In the case of a cleft palate, surgery is delayed until the child has one or two years so that the maxilla had already attained normal growth. When the damage is extensive, surgery is postponed until the child is between five and seven years to avoid structural problems. There are some cases where surgery is not possible or completely closes the opening. Therefore, such a prosthetic device, called shutter is constructed, and with it the opening to allow normal feeding covers.
The severity of the cleft palate determine the number of surgeries performed for long periods of time. The plastic surgeon and semiofficial corrective surgery done on his face while the general dentist, paleontologist and orthodontist do braces to correct the defects.
Its team of health professionals will provide guidance and encourage in difficult times, from birth to treatment. Today, the advances in surgical techniques and the development of braces help the outlook for children born with cleft lip and / or palate is excellent. As the child grows, they will be almost no signs of cleavage.