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What You Need to Understand About Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital conditions that affect thousands of newborns around the world. While these conditions may seem daunting at first, understanding their causes, treatments from professional orthodontists in NE Calgary, and their impact on individuals’ lives can demystify the challenges they present. In this blog post, we will delve into the essentials of cleft lip and cleft palate, shedding light on what you need to know.

Cleft Lip

A cleft lip is a facial malformation that occurs when there is a gap or split in the upper lip. This gap can range from a small notch to a more extensive opening that extends into the nose. The severity of a cleft lip can vary, and it may occur on one or both sides of the upper lip.

What Is Cleft Palate?

Cleft palate, on the other hand, involves a gap or opening in the roof of the mouth. This gap occurs when the tissue that forms the roof of the mouth does not fuse properly during fetal development. Like a cleft lip, a cleft palate can vary in severity, and it may affect the soft palate at the back of the mouth, the hard palate at the front, or both.

Indications of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Identifying cleft lip and cleft palate early is crucial for effective intervention. Indications of these conditions may include visible clefts in the lip or palate, difficulty with feeding, speech difficulties, ear infections, and dental issues. Understanding these signs is essential for parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to provide timely support and treatment.


While the exact causes of cleft lip and cleft palate are not always clear, several factors can contribute to their development. Genetic factors, environmental influences, and a combination of both play a role. Smoking, alcohol consumption during pregnancy, certain medications, and nutritional deficiencies are among the environmental factors that have been linked to an increased risk of these conditions.

Ways to Avoid It

While not all cases of cleft lip and cleft palate can be prevented, there are steps individuals can take to reduce the risk. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy, including proper nutrition, avoiding harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol, and seeking prenatal care, can contribute to healthier fetal development. Genetic counseling may also be recommended for individuals with a family history of cleft conditions.

Medical and Surgical Interventions

Surgery is the primary treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate, often performed in multiple stages. Skilled surgical teams work to reconstruct the affected areas, addressing both functional and aesthetic aspects. Additionally, non-surgical interventions such as speech therapy, dental care, and orthodontic treatment from an orthodontist near you may be necessary to support the child’s overall development.

By increasing awareness and advocating for comprehensive cleft lip and palate treatment in NE Calgary, we can contribute to the well-being and success of individuals born with cleft lip and cleft palate.

Challenges Faced by Individuals with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Living with a cleft lip and a cleft palate can present various challenges, including difficulties with feeding, speech development, and dental issues. Emotional and social challenges may also arise due to the visible differences. Parents, caregivers, and the community must provide support and understanding to individuals with cleft lip and cleft palate.

It is a complex condition that requires a cleft lip and palate treatment near you for effective management and support. Understanding the causes, impacts, and available treatments is essential for promoting empathy, reducing stigma, and fostering a more inclusive society. 

Embrace Your Radiant Smile with Totally Orthodontics!

Our dedicated team is committed to helping you achieve the confident and beautiful smile you deserve. With state-of-the-art orthodontic treatments tailored to meet your individual needs, we embrace the journey toward straighter teeth and improved oral health.  Our expert orthodontists use advanced technology and personalized care to ensure optimal results. Embrace the joy of smiling with Totally Orthodontics, where your radiant, confident smile is our ultimate goal. Discover the difference that orthodontic excellence can make in your life—it’s time to let your smile shine!