It is estimated that one out of every 600 babies born in the US is affected by a cleft lip or cleft palate, rendering the condition one of the most common birth defects. This congenital defect occurs early in pregnancy as a result of both genetic and environmental factors, though it is often difficult to determine a definite cause.
A cleft lip develops when the two sides of the upper lip remain separated during fetal development. Occasionally, this separation of tissue will include the bones in the upper jaw and gums. In such cases, North Texas Dental suggests parents seek medical assistance.
A cleft palate refers to an opening in the roof of the mouth that occurs when the two sides of the palate, instead of fusing together, remain separated. It is possible for the separation to occur on only one side, resulting in a unilateral cleft palate.
Our oral surgeon, Dr. Draper, treats cases of cleft lip and cleft palate in Sherman, Texas, and recommends that the baby undergo surgery within his or her first year of life to avoid interfering with speech development. Prior to surgery, North Texas Dental is happy to provide a prosthetic device, dental bridge, “speech bulb,” or “palatal lift” to help your feed and grow properly.
To learn more about cleft lip, cleft palate, and their corresponding treatment options, we invite you to visit our office to consult with our friendly dentists and team.