A cleft palate or a cleft lip is an opening in the upper lip where the roof of the mouth is visible. It is a common condition among children due to incomplete fusion of the facial structures. A cleft palate is a birth defect which sometimes is associated with several other genetic complications or syndromes. Giving birth to a baby with this condition can be heartbreaking. The professionals here at Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry can fix a cleft palate or cleft lip through a series of facial restoration techniques. A baby born with this kind of condition can live a normal life with minimal residual effects provided they undergo corrective measures at an early age.
Risk Factors Involved in Having a Cleft Palate
There are many factors associated with the occurrence of a baby developing this type of condition. Understanding the risk factors will allow you to determine the likelihood of it appearing somewhere along the line. One of the few things that help you determine the possibilities of giving birth to a baby with this type of condition is by looking at your family history. Having a blood relative with a cleft palate or cleft lip increases your risk of giving birth to a baby with the same condition. Obesity, having diabetes, and exposure to substances like nicotine, alcohol, and some medications increases the chances of delivering a baby with a cleft palate. A pre-diabetic condition and obesity during the early stages of pregnancy are also considered a risk factor for having an underdeveloped palate among children.
Health Problems Associated With Cleft Palate
Several health problems arise due to the appearance of cleft palate among children. One of the most visible issues is feeding complications. A child with this type of abnormality finds it challenging to eat food as solid and liquid-based food can quickly get into the nostrils. It also contributes to bigger problems such as swallowing lots of air, regurgitated food reaching the nostrils, and bottle or breastfeeding problems. Children with a cleft palate are also vulnerable to developing dental problems. They normally suffer from dental issues, including missing teeth, supernumerary teeth (the development of extra teeth), small teeth, and crooked or misaligned teeth.
Most children with a cleft lip or palate also suffer from gum and alveolar ridge defects because they have not fused during fetal development. This leads to a series of dental problems, including ridge defects and hampers the formation of permanent teeth.
A cleft palate also makes it hard to pronounce words and even children who have undergone surgical repair find it hard to speak certain words properly. Their voices tend to gravitate to a hypernasal tone, sounding more like the child is talking through their nose. The reason behind this is because the palate has not developed the ability to move and air seeps through the nose.
Cleft Palate Treatment
Working closely with a qualified team like ours, a child with this type of condition can undergo corrective surgery as early as 9 to 12 months old. Our surgical and dental surgeons can reconstruct the tissues located within the cleft and connect the muscle tissues of the palate. Several surgeries to correct the facial structure of the growing child also need to be done over time.
If you want to know more about cleft palates or would like to see how we can help, contact Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry at (316) 202-9629 today.