Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft Lip and Palate

A Cleft is a fissure or opening- gap
It is the non fusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. Approximately 1 in 700 children born have a Cleft lip or Cleft lip palate.


  • Environmental – maternal disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Alcohol
  • Excess retinoic acid
  • Anti convulsant medications.
  • Genetic- either the mother or the father can pass on genes that cause clefting, either as an isolated defect or as a part of syndrome that includes clefting as one of it ‘signs. In some cases, babies inherit a general that makes them more likely to develop a Cleft, and then an environmental trigger actually causes the Cleft to occur


Unilateral incomplete
Usually formed in the upper lip as a small gap or an indentation in the lip
Unilateral complete Cleft
Usually formed in the upper lip as small gap or and indentation in the lip with continuation in to the nose
Bilateral complete Cleft
Cleft in the upper lip as with continuation with nose of both the sides.


A condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate are not completely joined
The soft palate is in these cases also usually has a Cleft
Unilateral complete Cleft
Cleft in the soft and hard palate
Bilateral complete Cleft and palate
Cleft in soft and hard palate including lips
Incomplete Cleft palate
A hole in the roof of the mouth


A Cleft of the soft palate with the classic clinical tried of a bifid or split uvula.