Children with cleft lip with or without cleft palate face a variety of challenges, depending on the type and severity of the cleft.
June 17, 2015
- Difficulty feeding. One of the most immediate concerns after birth is feeding. While most babies with cleft lip can breast-feed, a cleft palate may make sucking difficult.
- Ear infections and hearing loss. Babies with cleft palate are especially at risk of developing middle ear fluid and hearing loss.
- Dental problems. If the cleft extends through the upper gum, tooth development may be affected.
- Speech difficulties. Because the palate is used in forming sounds, the development of normal speech can be affected by a cleft palate. Speech may sound too nasal.
- Challenges of coping with a medical condition. Children with clefts may face social, emotional and behavioral problems due to differences in appearance and the stress of intensive medical care.
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- Cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/cleft-lip-and-palate.html#content. Accessed May 12, 2015.
- Campbell A, et al. Cleft lip and palate surgery: An update of clinical outcomes for primary repair. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America. 2010;22:43.
- Cleft lip and cleft palate. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html. Accessed May 12, 2015.
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- Your baby's first year. Cleft Palate Foundation. http://www.cleftline.org/parents-individuals/publications/booklets/. Accessed May 13, 2015.
- Parameters for evaluation and treatment of patients with cleft lip/palate or other craniofacial anomalies. American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. http://www.acpa-cpf.org/team_care/. Accessed May 12, 2015.
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