Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Understanding Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate and How to Diagnose It

Our health is a crazy yet very important thing. So many different events can occur from the moment we’re born to the time we grow and mature, which is why we need to do all we can to preserve both our minds and bodies. After all, we only have one.

One such condition that can impact our health, specifically the health of infants, is cleft lip and palate. For more information about cleft lip and palate in NE Calgary, contact our local dental practice today.

What is Cleft Lip? What is Cleft Palate?

A cleft lip is when the soft tissues that comprise your lips don’t join properly before birth. This causes an opening to form in your upper lip, connecting to your nose.

A cleft palate is when the tissues that form the roof of your mouth don’t fuse together properly.

While developmental abnormalities during pregnancy do contribute to the manifestation of cleft lip and cleft palate, the exact causes are still being researched. But experts believe that is primarily due to environmental factors and genetic predisposition.

Approximately one in seven hundred babies are born with this condition. Even though it’s not extremely common, it should, and can be easily remedied. The procedure is simple and boasts a very high success rate. The overall functionality and aesthetic appearance of your child’s facial structure will be improved, and they’ll be able to grow up and experience life without any problems.

Diagnosing Cleft Lip and Palate

A healthcare professional can identify cleft lip and palate near you by using an ultrasound. Evaluating a baby’s status in utero is the main purpose of receiving a routine ultrasound (also called a sonogram). That said, sometimes, doctors cannot always detect cleft lip and palate before the baby is born. After the baby arrives, your doctor will discuss a plan to treat it soon.

In either instance, your doctor can indeed repair your baby’s condition. The biggest thing to keep in mind, however, is that breastfeeding typically isn’t possible when your baby has a cleft lip or palate. You’ll need to use a bottle that’s specially designed to help your baby feed.

To understand this better, talk to a doctor or an orthodontist near you. Both individuals are highly trained and capable of repairing your baby’s condition. Don’t be afraid to let them know if you have any questions or concerns.

Treating Cleft Lip and Palate

Not only can cleft lip and palate interfere with your baby’s eating habits, but it can also give rise to dental issues including the formation of a too-narrow jaw, or teeth that grow crooked. Fortunately, a simple surgery is all that’s needed to fix it.

Lip surgery is typically done when your baby is at least three months old. Anesthesia is administered and once the tissue is repaired, the site is closed and protected with stitches. In comparison, your child should be at least six months to a year old to receive palate surgery.

Your baby will be kept under observation for a few days following the procedure. In more extreme situations, a bone graft, jaw surgery, or additional cosmetic surgery may be necessary. You’ll need to return to see your dentist or orthodontist in NE Calgary for regular checkups so they can assess how they’re healing and their speech patterns.

Are you looking to receive convenient and reliable treatment for cleft lip and palate near you? At Totally Orthodontics, we’ve got you covered! Our staff is here to help you take control of your and your baby’s health. Call or visit our website to book a consultation and get started today!