cleft palate

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cleft palate,

incomplete fusion of bones of the palate. The cleft may be confined to the soft palate at the back of the mouth; it may include the hard palate, or roof of the mouth; or it may extend through the gum and lip, producing a gap in the teeth and a cleft lip, which is cosmetically difficult to repair but is not disabling. The condition appears to be hereditary but not under the control of a single pair of genes. A cleft palate causes separation between the oral and nasal cavities. An infant cannot develop proper suction for drinking, and there is the danger of milk entering the nasal cavity and being aspirated into the lungs. Formula must be carefully placed at the back of the tongue for normal swallowing to take place. Ear infection may result from food or fluid passing from the nasal cavity to the middle ear by way of the Eustachian tubes. Proper speech articulation is difficult unless the cleft is surgically closed, with a prosthesis. The proper time for such an operation is in dispute; some authorities prefer early closure, before the cleft interferes with development of normal speech habits, while others prefer to wait for several years until facial growth has been completed. Dental, orthodontic, psychiatric, and speech therapy may be required.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cleft Palate


a congenital malformation, in which there is an opening in the upper jaw and the hard palate. As a result there is a cleft which joins the mouth cavity and the nose. A cleft palate causes difficulty in eating (the food falls into the windpipe and the nasal cavity), breathing, and speaking (the speech impediments include nasality and distorted pronunciation of the sounds k, p, and t). It is often followed by a split in the upper lip. Treatment includes surgical operation and prosthesis and dispensary observation (changing healing de-vices) up to the age of 16.

Cleft Palate


a congenital developmental defect in man in which acts of feeding, breathing, and speech are disturbed as a result of the formation of a fissure between the right and left halves of the hard palate. It constitutes up to 30 percent of all developmental defects; it is often found together with harelip.

The origin of cleft palate is linked to disturbance in the development of the embryo in the period of six to 12 weeks when the palate is formed. Unfavorable external conditions, physical or mental trauma to the mother, deficient nutrition, illnesses suffered during pregnancy, and toxoplasmosis influence the development of cleft palate. The influence of heredity has not been proved. A reliable method of removing cleft palate and the functional disorders associated with it is radical plastic surgery combined with orthopedic and logopedic preoperative and postoperative treatment. Preventive measures include a sensible schedule in work and daily life during pregnancy, good nutrition, and prevention of infectious diseases.


Dubov, M. D. Vrozhdennye rasshcheliny neba. [Leningrad] 1960.

Dmitrieva, V. S. , and R. L. Lando. Khirurgicheskoe lechenie vrozhdennykh i posleoperatsionnykh defeklov neba. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cleft palate

[¦kleft ′pal·ət]
A birth defect resulting from incomplete closure of the palate during embryogenesis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cleft palate

a congenital crack or fissure in the midline of the hard palate, often associated with a harelip
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The results explain that there is a significant statistical difference for when surgeries for revision of lip nose clefts and secondary cleft palates are undertaken.
A cross-sectional cohort study of speech in five-year-olds with cleft palate +/- lip to support development of national audit standards: benchmarking speech standards in the United Kingdom.
Several factors may increase the likelihood of a baby developing a cleft lip and cleft palate, including :
"Cleft palates are more common among females, whereas the cleft lip and palate are more common among males."
Quality of life of patients with cleft lip and / or cleft palate: perspective of parents/guardians.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when the tissue that forms the lip or the roof of the mouth does not join together during pregnancy.
An appliance is required in almost all the cleft palate cases to create a seal between the nasal and oral cavity in order to create a negative pressure for feeding of infant.
Numerous important anatomical structures (oral cavity, muscle layer, and blood vessels) are not simulated in some of the available cleft palate bench models;[sup][1],[2] therefore, these simulators do not allow the hands-on training of relevant surgical skills, such as dissection and suturing of the muscles of the soft palate.
Goldenhar syndrome is associated with wide range of features like macrostomia, micrognathia, cleft palate, bifid tongue and malocclusion, vertebral abnormalities, facial muscle hypoplasia, neurological, visual, cardiac and genitourinary abnormalities.
A female Pug was presented with secondary cleft palate with pneumonia.
All patients with palatal fistulae following repair of congenital cleft palate along with recurrent fistulae, i.e., those occurring after one or more previous attempts at fistula repair were included.