Cleft Lip and Palate

What Are Oral Clefts?

Oral clefts are birth defects of the structures that form the mouth. An oral cleft is a split or separation in the baby’s lip and/or palate. Cleft lip means that the two sides of the upper lip did not grow together properly. Cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. Although cleft lip and cleft palate may occur in the same baby, both conditions can happen separately. The opening in the lip or palate may be unilateral, only on one side, or bilateral, on both sides.

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