What are the issues that can arise with a cleft lip?
Posted on 2/22/2021 by Andrew Horowitz, DMD, MD, FACS
Considered a genetic defect passed on by either one or both of the parents, there are far more ramifications than just an altered appearance. A cleft lip happens when the two halves of the skull do not fuse completely. It leaves an opening which can sometimes extend all the way up to the nose which can cause more serious complications.
Although it can be addressed by a relatively simple surgery, most parents who have a child with a cleft lip struggle with their child's outward appearance. In the less severe cases, it might only appear as a slight anomaly, a dent in the outward curve of the lip. In several cases, it can look like a tear through the soft tissue of the upper lip. In those cases, several surgeries may be required to correct the problem.
Issues Related to Cleft Lip
For parents dealing with a newborn can be stressful enough but when one has an illness or a serious health problem it can be devastating. A cleft lip can look more serious than it really is. That being said, it does need to be corrected before the baby reaches three months old.
If a cleft lip is not taken care of it can lead to a high rate of ear infections as well as potential hearing loss or deafness. Due to the way it affects how the mouth and lips move to form sounds it can also delay speech and hinder correct enunciation. In some cases, it can affect the eruption of their teeth as well. There are also social issues in play as well. They have a different outward appearance they can be judged and made to feel bad about themselves.
Thankfully, these can all be avoided by a simple surgery taking less than two hours during a single office visit. Please feel free to give us a call.
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