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Types of Cleft Palate

Complete Bilateral Cleft lip
Complete Bilateral Cleft lip

Bilateral cleft lip, alveolus (dental ridge) and palate (roof of the mouth) This is the least common and most severe form of cleft lip. The condition is similar to bilateral cleft lip and alveolus but also involves the palate.

Complete Unilateral Cleft lip
Complete Unilateral Cleft lip

Palate cleft can occur as complete (soft and hard palate, possibly including a gap in the jaw) or incomplete (a 'hole' in the roof of the mouth, usually as a cleft soft palate). When cleft palate occurs, the uvula is usually split.

Forme Fruste Unilateral Cleft lip
Forme Fruste Unilateral Cleft lip

The most common presentation is cleft lip and palate (approximately 45%), followed by cleft palate alone (35%) and cleft lip alone (approximately 20%). Unilateral cleft lips are more common than bilateral cleft lips and occur more commonly on the left side (left cleft lip:right cleft lip:bilateral cleft lip = 6:3:1).

image: sickkids.ca
Incomplete Bilateral Cleft lip
Incomplete Bilateral Cleft lip

Bilateral cleft lip, alveolus (dental ridge) and palate (roof of the mouth) This is the least common and most severe form of cleft lip. The condition is similar to bilateral cleft lip and alveolus but also involves the palate.

Incomplete Unilateral Cleft lip
Incomplete Unilateral Cleft lip

Cleft lip and cleft palate can often be diagnosed during pregnancy with an ultrasound exam. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery. This is often done in the first few months of life for cleft lip and before eighteen months for cleft palate. Speech therapy and dental care may also be needed.