What Are the Complications of Cleft Palate?

Cleft palate is a condition that causes the palate’s opening, which is a structure that is on the upper part of the mouth. In Huntington Beach, this condition commonly occurs together with a cleft lip. Cleft lip and palate are congenital disorders that some children have when they are born. Failure of some anatomical structures in the face to close completely is the underlying risk of cleft lip.

Cleft palate is a common congenital condition that can occur alone or with other genetic disorders. A cleft palate can be treated using oral surgery in Huntington Beach to close the openings. Getting treatment for cleft lip helps improve the child’s physical appearance, improves speech, and helps in chewing food. Choosing a competent doctor helps to avoid the side effects of the surgery and improve the outcomes.

What Causes a Cleft Palate?

The palate and the upper lip are joined in normal anatomy by the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. However, this fusion fails to occur entirely in babies who have a cleft lip, and they get an opening on the upper lip called a cleft lip. The exact cause of cleft palate is unknown, but research has shown that genetic predisposition and environmental factors play a role in forming a cleft palate.

Some factors put you at risk of getting a cleft palate like having a first-degree relative who has the condition. If you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes during pregnancy, your baby may be at risk of developing a cleft palate. Other factors that increase the risk of delivering a baby with a cleft palate include being obese or having diabetes during pregnancy.

How Does Cleft Palate Present?

Most cleft palate cases occur together with cleft lip, and these conditions present with pronounced symptoms like an opening on the upper lip. The cleft opening can affect one side of the palate or both sides. There is a type of cleft palate that does not occur in combination with cleft lip, and therefore the opening is only inside the mouth.

Some people get a cleft on the palate muscles and do not have an obvious palate opening. The symptoms of this type of cleft palate include the inability to eat or swallow. Sometimes food can go up to the nose in people with this submucous cleft palate. This can put them at risk of developing respiratory infections. The infection can travel to the ear from the nose resulting in ear infections. Changes in voice is another symptom of submucous cleft palate.

Complications of Cleft Palate

The severity of cleft palate varies in different children, and those with severe cleft lip may not breastfeed. The nasal cavity connects to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube. Therefore, any infection that occurs in the nose can also spread to the ears causing chronic ear infections.

Severe ear infections can cause hearing loss in some children with cleft palate. The cleft palate may involve the gums, and this can affect how the teeth develop. Children with poor dentition can develop chewing problems, and this affects their nutrition. Cleft palate also affects these children’s mental health because of their physical appearance, which affects their performance in school and their social life.

One of the ways of preventing cleft palate is seeking the expertise of a genetic counselor. This helps to know if you are at risk of having a baby with a cleft palate. Your doctor can also advise you on the prenatal vitamins that can help to prevent this condition. It is advisable to avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when you are pregnant.


Cleft palate is a condition that causes a cleft to develop on the soft palate. This condition can also involve the upper lip to form an obvious opening. This condition causes difficulty in chewing and talking and can also affect a child’s self-esteem as they grow up. This condition can be corrected through surgery.