What is Cleft Lip/Palate?

Also known as: Orofacial cleft, cleft palate, cleft lip, clefting

The tissues that make up the lip and palate (roof of the mouth) fuse together between the fourth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft lip and/or palate is characterized by the presence of a gap (split) in the lip and/or palate seen at birth when the tissues of the lip and/or palate don't come together at all, or come together only part of the way. As the lip and the palate develop separately, a baby may have one or the other, on one or both sides of the mouth, or both together. Boys tend to have more cleft lips while girls have twice as many cleft palates. Clefting can vary in type and severity.


This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

© 2020 Nicklaus Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.