Cleft Palateenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_05_2.jpgA cleft palate is when a baby is born with a cleft (gap) in the roof of the mouth. Most kids can have surgery to repair them early in life.cleft lip, cleft palate, complete cleft palate, incomplete cleft palate, types of cleft palate, cleft types, oral clefting, cleft lip and palate, birth defects, fetal ultrasound, feeding, obturator, oral surgery, speech therapy, dental care, orthodontia, reconstructive surgery, anterior palates, posterior palates, cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery, unilateral, bilateral, otitis media, ear infections, myringotomy tubes, ear tubes, alveolar ridge defect, orthopalatal expansion, osteotomy, orthognathic surgery, teasing, self-esteem, CD1Perinatology, CD1Cleft Lip & Palate01/21/201901/10/202001/10/2020Brian C. Kellogg, MD and Ani Danelz, CCC-SLP06/03/20192431459d-334d-4b0e-8666-63877dda7793https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cleft-palate.html/<h3>What Is a Cleft Palate?</h3> <p>A <strong>cleft palate</strong> (PAL-it) is when a baby is born with an opening (a cleft) in the roof of the mouth. This leaves a hole between the nose and the mouth.</p> <p>The opening can:</p> <ul> <li>just be in the back of the palate (the soft palate)<br /> or</li> <li>extend into the front of the palate behind the gums (the hard palate)</li> </ul> <p>Sometimes the opening in the palate can connect with an opening in the gums and the lip (<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cleft-palate-cleft-lip.html/">cleft lip and palate</a>). These orofacial clefts are some of the most common birth defects. Most kids can have surgery to repair them early in life.</p> <p>A baby with a cleft might have:</p> <ul> <li>only a cleft palate</li> <li>only a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cleft-lip.html/">cleft lip</a></li> <li>both a cleft lip and a cleft palate</li> </ul> <p><img class="center_this" title="" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/cleftPalate_a_enIL.jpg" alt="Diagram showing how a cleft palate differs from a normal palate, as described in the article" /></p> <p></p> <h3>What Causes Cleft Palate?</h3> <p>During the first <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-calendar-intro.html/">6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy</a>, the bones and skin of a baby's upper jaw, nose, and mouth normally come together (fuse) to form the roof of the mouth and the upper lip. A cleft palate happens when parts of the roof of the mouth do not fuse together completely.</p> <p>Doctors don't always know why a baby develops a cleft, though some clefts may be related to genetic (inherited) factors. Also, some environmental factors can increase the risk of a birth defect, such as:</p> <ul> <li>taking certain medicines (such as some anti-seizure medicines) during pregnancy</li> <li>not getting the right amount of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/moms-nutrients.html/">prenatal nutrients</a></li> <li>exposure to some chemicals during pregnancy</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-smoking.html/">smoking cigarettes</a>, using drugs, and/or drinking <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-alcohol.html/">alcohol</a> during pregnancy</li> </ul> <h3>How Is a Cleft Palate Diagnosed?</h3> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/newborn-screening-tests.html/">Newborns</a> have an oral exam soon after they're born. Doctors usually find a cleft palate when they examine the inside of a baby's mouth during this exam.</p> <h3>How Is a Cleft Palate Treated?</h3> <p>A cleft palate usually is repaired with surgery called <strong>palatoplasty</strong> (PAL-eh-tuh-plass-tee) when the baby is 10&ndash;12 months old. The goals of palatoplasty are to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Close the opening between the nose and mouth.</li> <li>Help create a palate that works well for speech.</li> <li>Prevent food and liquid from leaking out of the nose.</li> </ul> <p>In this surgery, a plastic surgeon will:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Close the cleft in layers.</li> <li>Rearrange and repair the muscles of the soft palate so they work better during speech.</li> <li>Make two incisions (cuts) on each side of the palate behind the gums to ease tension on the palate repair.</li> </ul> <p>This surgery requires <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anesthesia-types.html/">general anesthesia</a> and takes about 2&ndash;3 hours. Most babies can go home after 1 or 2 days in the hospital. The stitches will dissolve on their own.</p> <p>Your child will need a liquid diet for a week or two, then will eat soft foods for several more weeks before going back to a regular diet. You may be asked to keep your baby in special sleeves ("no-nos") that prevent the elbows from bending. This is so your baby can't put any fingers or hard objects into the mouth, which could make the cleft palate repair come open.</p> <h3>When Should I Call the Doctor?</h3> <p>Cleft palate surgery has greatly improved in recent years. Most kids who undergo it have very good results. There are risks with any surgery, though, so call the doctor if your child:</p> <ul> <li>has a fever above 101.4&deg;F (38.5&deg;C)</li> <li>has lasting pain or discomfort</li> <li>has heavy bleeding from the mouth or nose</li> <li>won't drink fluids</li> <li>isn't making wet diapers</li> </ul> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>A child with a cleft palate can sometimes have other health problems, such as:</p> <ul> <li>trouble breathing</li> <li>frequent ear infections</li> <li>trouble feeding</li> <li>hearing loss</li> <li>eye problems</li> <li>speech difficulties</li> </ul> <p>It's important to work with a care team experienced in treating children with cleft lip and palate. Besides the pediatrician, a child's treatment team will include:</p> <ul> <li>plastic surgeon</li> <li>ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician (otolaryngologist)</li> <li>orthodontist</li> <li>dentist</li> <li>speech-language pathologist</li> <li>audiologist</li> </ul> <p>You might also work with:</p> <ul> <li>an oral surgeon</li> <li>a social worker</li> <li>a psychologist or therapist</li> <li>a geneticist</li> <li>a team coordinator</li> </ul> <p>Some kids with cleft palate may need other surgeries as they get older. These might include:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Speech surgery:</strong> Children can develop speech problems even after the palate has been repaired. At your regular appointments with the cleft team, the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/speech-therapy-cleft-palate.html/">speech-language pathologist</a> will carefully listen to your child's speech to help the surgeon decide if another surgery is needed to improve speech.</li> <li><strong>Orthognathic </strong>(or-thig-NATH-ik)<strong> surgery:</strong> Some children with cleft palate need this surgery to realign the jaws and teeth when they're older. It's done when the child is finished growing.</li> </ul> <h3>Looking Ahead</h3> <p>Most kids with cleft palate are treated successfully with no lasting problems. A team experienced in treating children with cleft lip and palate can create a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.</p> <p>The psychologists and social workers on the treatment team are there for you and your child. So turn to them to help guide you through any hard times. You also can find more information and support online:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://cleftline.org/family-resources/introduction-to-cleft-craniofacial-conditions/">American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA)</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.clapa.com/support/clapas-services/">Cleft Lip &amp; Palate Association</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.faces-cranio.org/Disord/NSCleft.htm">FACES: The National Craniofacial Association</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.smiletrain.org/">Smile Train</a></li> </ul>Paladar hendidoUn paladar hendido es cuando un bebé nace con una abertura (fisura o hendidura) en el paladar. Esta hendidura deja un hueco entre la nariz y la boca. La mayoría de los niños se pueden operar para que les reparen el paladar hendido cuando aún son unos bebés. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/cleft-palate-esp.html/6e0b88c8-e6a4-4c12-90a8-ecfe0598722a
Birth DefectsSome birth defects are minor and cause no problems; others cause major disabilities. Learn about the different types of birth defects, and how to help prevent them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/birth-defects.html/eeaa74ff-3f65-4df3-8757-9df2d014c2ee
Cleft LipA cleft lip is when a baby's lip doesn't form properly during pregnancy. Most kids can have surgery to repair one early in life.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cleft-lip.html/4504c0c5-b614-4b52-815a-56cb0918aaeb
Cleft Palate With Cleft LipA cleft palate with a cleft lip is when a baby's lip and palate (roof of mouth) don't form properly during pregnancy. Most kids with cleft lip and palate are treated successfully with no lasting problems. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cleft-palate-cleft-lip.html/26b5f5ef-cb99-4339-84fd-84d0f5a36dbf
Going to a Speech TherapistYou might visit a speech therapist if you're having trouble speaking or understanding others. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/speech-therapist.html/949b7d74-02e5-451d-b374-bf774e71c3de
Keeping Your Child's Teeth HealthyHere are the basics about how to care for your child's teeth - and when.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/healthy.html/ee269f09-e62c-4f49-b81f-fdc0631485f1
Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)Ear infections are common among kids and, often, painful. Find out what causes them and how they're treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/otitis-media.html/e9397262-2aa6-4c43-b09e-1ce26c2ae7da
Plastic SurgeryLots of images may come to mind when you think of plastic surgery. This special type of surgery involves a person's appearance and ability to function.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/plastic-surgery.html/28683383-7c39-4693-b5c3-440da04e2b6a
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-neonatologykh:clinicalDesignation-otolaryngologyEarNoseThroatkh:clinicalDesignation-plasticSurgerykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-otolaryngologyEarNoseThroatEars, Nose, Throat/Speech & Hearinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/ears/8749295b-10fa-4ce8-91f9-befbe3b41833Newborn Health Conditionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-center/newborn-health-conditions/85832563-037d-4bcf-b68e-8877d94e4fd5Surgical Conditionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/system/surgical/e79494d5-d5b9-41cd-99a0-13b82606c9adhttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/cleftPalate_a_enIL.jpg