Cleft Palate – Causes and Treatment

Index

The cleft palate or lobe of the lobe and cleft palate as it is popularly known is a congenital malformation that still occurs inside the mother’s womb during fetal development. It can reach the entire length of the roof of the mouth to the base of the nose leaving an open channel between them.

In addition to the opening, there may still be division of the uvula (throat bell). This fissure occurs more in female children, unlike the cleft lip that affects boys more.

During pregnancy it is already possible to verify the presence of the cleft palate, but only after birth is it possible to carry out any treatment or intervention. The cleft palate occurs due to incorrect closure of the craniofacial structures. So when discovered the best way out is to calm down and prepare for all procedures after the baby is born.

IMPORTANT:
This malformation usually occurs between the 4th and 12th gestational week. It can be clearly visualized by ultrasound as the pregnancy progresses, but precisely in the second trimester.

What Causes the Cleft Palate?

The real cause of the cleft palate is not yet known, but medicine points to a strong indication of genetic factors and environments, such as:

  • Presence of parents with fissures
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Exposure of pregnant women to radiation
  • Diseases during pregnancy
  • Some medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cigarette and drug use

Cases of cleft palate are also related to the parents’ age, abdominal X-ray examinations during pregnancy and use of anticonvulsant medications or corticosteroid drugs during the first trimester , when the baby is in complete formation.

In some cases of the cleft palate, it can still cause physiological changes affecting the auditory tube and causing hearing problems in the child. Due to the insufficiency of velopharyngeal, the child may still have difficulties in speech. The deformation caused by the cleft of the plateau does not only affect the child’s aesthetics, but affects nutritional, hearing, respiratory, dental and especially emotional and social factors .

As soon as some babies are born who have a cleft palate, they are unable to feed and suck breast milk normally. For this they are fed through spoons or bottles. For those who do, they tend to breastfeed for less time due to the intake of air that quenches them more quickly. So you end up feeling hungry faster and breastfeeding more often than normal.

Treatment

For the treatment it is necessary a specialized medical team that works together, such as a speech therapist, dentist, an otolaryngologist and a plastic surgeon. The repair of the cleft palate surgery is only recommended from 2 years old, which are carried out in stages.

As it is a delicate repair and aims to correct the bone and muscle part of the face and still provide adequate breathing, they are done thoroughly. Surgical repair still has the focus and concern of not leaving the child with an nasal voice.

Surgery

Usually, the first step of the repair surgery is the bone palate where it is stretched so that they can continue the treatment and the remaining closure. During the entire reconstruction process, the child receives an orthodontic appliance that allows the child to be able to eat properly and still manage to cover the cleft palate.

Since birth, the entire initial treatment schedule is formed and will be complemented and adjusted according to the child’s needs and functional problems. These problems will occur with the child’s development and growth and the accompaniment of a speech therapist is extremely important for speech rehabilitation from the beginning.

After all bone and muscle repair, plastic surgery is performed where the child is left with a small scar. If the appropriate treatment is followed, the child can have a normal life, eat, speak normally as well as acquire his social life like any other child. Surgical repairs should be carried out in a timely manner , not too early to not interrupt bone development, but not too late to allow it to affect the child’s speech.

Duration

The success of the treatment will depend on the professionals and the dedication of the parents in doing regular monitoring. The cleft palate can leave phonetic, orthodontic, chewing and even auditory consequences , but in general it has treatment for all of them.

The treatment is long and ends only after advancing on average 18 years of life, where the entire bone structure of the face will be consolidated. Throughout these years, monitoring with all connected specialists is essential.

There is no way to prevent it, except to avoid risk factors such as undue tests, consumption of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and drugs and the use of inappropriate medications during pregnancy.

See also: Lip Leporino – What is it and why does it happen?

Dr. Alexis Hart
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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