Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Cleft Lip And Palate: Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Splits or separations in the upper lip and mouth that happen while a fetus grows in the uterus are known as cleft lip and cleft palate.  Surgery is necessary to treat this condition; it might also involve speech therapy and additional dental work. 

The majority of cleft lip and cleft palate cases are identified at birth and don’t need a specific test to be diagnosed. On ultrasound, cleft lip and palate are often discovered before the infant is born.

What is a Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate? 

Although it appears as a small opening or gap in the upper lip’s outermost layer, there is actually a physical break or separation between the two sides. Along with the area around the bottom of the nostrils, the upper jaw or gum is commonly involved in this separation.

The term “cleft palate” refers to a split or opening in the mouth. Both the soft palate and the hard palate, which is the front, solid portion of the mouth’s top, can be impacted by a cleft palate. 

The mouth may be affected on either one or both sides by cleft lip and palate. It is conceivable to have a cleft lip without having a cleft palate, or vice versa, due to the fact that the mouth and palate develop separately. 


When the baby’s face and mouth tissues don’t correctly fuse, cleft lip and palate develop. In the second or third month of pregnancy, the tissues that make up the face and palate typically fuse. However, the fusion either never takes place or only partially happens in infants with cleft lip and palate, leaving an opening.

Professionals think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is the reason for the majority of cases in this condition. A specific reason is frequently not found in infants.

The cleft-causing genes can be passed down from the mother or father either separately or as a component of a genetic condition that features a cleft lip or cleft palate as one of its symptoms. Sometimes a baby inherits a gene that increases their risk of developing a cleft, but the cleft is actually brought on by an environmental factor.


Because clefts result in physical changes to the fetus’s face, prenatal ultrasound can identify the majority of lip clefts. A 3D prenatal scan may allow parents to see their child’s cleft.

Because an ultrasound can’t see inside your baby’s mouth, a cleft palate is rarely detected before delivery. Your child’s doctor will examine the palate of your newborn for indications of a cleft after delivery.

Ultrasound before birth

Prenatal ultrasounds use sound waves to produce images of the growing baby. Your doctor can spot changes in the facial structures when looking over the images.

Cleft lips can first be detected by ultrasound around the 13th week of pregnancy. As the fetus develops, it gets easier to recognize this condition. 

If the prenatal ultrasound reveals a cleft, your doctor might advise a procedure to extract a sample of amniotic liquid from your uterus. A genetical syndrome that could cause extra birth defects in the unborn child could be discovered by the fluid test. In most cases, the reason for cleft lip and palate is unclear.


Cleft lip and palate treatment aims to restore a child’s ability to eat, communicate, and listen properly as well as to give them a normal facial impression.  You can also consult an orthodontist near you to improve oral function. 

Treatment for children with cleft lip and palate usually involves a team of experts and a professional cleft lip and palate orthodontics near you. 

Surgery is used to resolve the deficiency, and treatments are used to treat any associated conditions. 


In light of your child’s specific circumstances, it is advised and taken into consideration to correct cleft lip and palate. Your doctor might advise additional surgeries to enhance speech or the look of the nose and lip. after the original cleft repair.

Surgeries generally are performed in the following order. 

  • Cleft lip repair 
  • Cleft palate repair
  • Additional follow-up surgeries

Surgery can greatly enhance your child’s looks, quality of life, and capacity for breathing, eating, and speaking.  Bleeding, infection, slow healing, widening or elevation of scars, and temporary or irreversible harm to nerves, blood vessels, or other structures are all potential risks associated with surgery.

If you are looking for cleft lip and palate in NE Calgary visit Totally Orthodontics where you can consult with our experts to learn more about how you can address such issues for your child. 

Preparing and asking questions will help you make the most of your appointment. Consult with our orthodontist in NE Calgary today to receive the best care for your child’s cleft lip and palate. Book your appointment here today!