Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Surgery
During early pregnancy, separate areas of the face develop individually and then join together, including the left and right sides of the roof of the mouth and lips. However, if some parts do not join properly, sections do not meet and the result is a cleft. If the separation occurs in the upper lip, the child is said to have a cleft lip.
What is Cleft Lip?
A completely formed lip is important not only for a normal facial appearance but also for sucking and to form certain sounds made during speech. A cleft lip is a condition that creates an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and nose. It looks as though there is a split in the lip. It can range from a slight notch in the colored portion of the lip to complete separation in one or both sides of the lip extending up and into the nose. A cleft on one side is called a unilateral cleft. If a cleft occurs on both sides, it is called a bilateral cleft.
What is the Palate?
The palate is the roof of your mouth. It is made of bone and muscle and is covered by a thin, wet skin that forms the red covering inside the mouth. You can feel your own palate by running your tongue over the top of your mouth. Its purpose is to separate your nose from your mouth. The palate has an extremely important role during speech because when you talk, it prevents air from blowing out of your nose instead of your mouth. The palate is also very important when eating. It prevents food and liquids from going up into the nose.
Contact Us Today!
Drs. Patterson and DiPasquale, along with each member of our staff, are committed to providing compassionate care so that you feel at home in our office. We welcome you to ask any questions you have regarding oral surgery and your overall oral health so that you can leave our office with confidence.