A cleft palate is a birth defect in which the tissues in the roof of a baby's mouth do not fuse completely, creating an opening or a split. This birth defect is not visible and can not easily be noticed as it is found inside the mouth. Though cleft palate often affects the upper lip and can change the appearance of the baby's face, this is called the cleft lip.
Having a baby born with a cleft can be upsetting, but this does not mean that it has to stay that way until they grow up. If you have a loved one dealing with a cleft palate, you may visit us at Beaverton Oral Surgeons for cleft palate treatment.
What Are The Causes of Cleft Palate?
Many factors affect the baby's development inside the womb. One of them is the genetics of the parents that the baby will inherit. If both parents are born with cleft palate, then it is more likely for the child to be born with this birth defect too.
Another factor that increases the baby's risk of getting cleft palate is the mother's exposure to different dangerous substances. This includes cigarettes, harmful drugs, and alcohol. Pregnant women with diabetes also have an increased risk of having a baby with orofacial clefts. Obesity during pregnancy is also one of the factors that can increase the risk of cleft palate.
What Problems Can Cleft Palate Cause?
People with cleft palates experience a variety of challenges in their daily life. One of these is difficulty acquiring nutrition. A cleft palate can make it hard for newborn babies to nurse and get proper nutrition. In some cases, babies with cleft palates will need a special bottle for milk consumption.
Another problem a cleft palate can cause is hearing loss. Babies born with cleft palate have a high risk of developing middle ear fluid associated with loss of hearing. Children born with this birth defect commonly have their upper lateral incisors or front upper teeth missing. The mouth's palate is used in forming sounds while speaking, and as a result, people born with cleft palate can also have a speech impairment. Lastly, a cleft palate can negatively affect a child's self-esteem due to differences in appearance.
Is There a Treatment For Cleft Palate?
Cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects in the world, affecting one in every 16,000 babies born, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The problems that come with a cleft palate can be a real challenge. It affects not just your physical appearance, but your mental well-being too.
Fortunately, there is a treatment for cleft palates. Palate surgery can help fix your facial structure and restore its normal appearance. There are many problems a cleft palate can cause, some will have to go through several treatments, depending on their case.
If you or a family member is struggling with cleft palate, our team at Beaverton Oral Surgeons can help restore your appearance and normal speech. To learn more about cleft palate and treatment options for it, you may contact us at (971) 249-8370 today.