Cleft palate is separation or splits that occur in a baby’s mouth or face while developing in the mother’s womb. Cleft lips and cleft palates are among the common congenital disabilities in the world.
Causes of Cleft Palate and Other Craniofacial Conditions
The cause of the cleft lip and cleft palate is not known, and these craniofacial conditions are unpreventable. Scientists say that clefts occur due to both environmental and genetic factors. It is also believed that gaps could occur due to a mother’s meditation during the pregnancy period.
Some drugs such as anticonvulsant or anti-seizure drugs, drugs that contain Accutane and methotrexate, and drugs used in the treatment of arthritis, cancer, and psoriasis can cause cleft palates. The condition can also occur due to chemicals and viruses exposure in the mother’s womb.
Cleft Palate and Other Craniofacial Conditions Treatment
A cleft lip needs one or two surgeries depending on the cleft’s wideness or narrowness. The first surgery is usually carried out when the newborn is about three months old. On the other hand, cleft palate requires several surgeries, which are spread from one year up to 18 years. These surgeries change the shape of the baby’s mouth, nose, and lips.
Cleft palate repair helps prevent fluid from developing in the middle ear and helps in proper teeth growth. It also plays a vital role in the development of facial bones. At the age of eight, children with a cleft palate may require a bone graft to fill up the upper jawline to ensure it supports permanent teeth. Most of these children still need surgeries to improve their speech.
Furthermore, they also undergo more surgeries for improving nose, mouth, and lips appearance. The surgeries also help to realign and stabilize the jaws and improve breathing. In addition, after the growth of permanent teeth, these children may need braces for teeth straightening.