This Month is national cleft lip, and cleft palate awareness month.
Cleft lip and Cleft palate is improper closure of lips and palate during pregnancy (see attached photo below). The cause of the orofacial clefts are unknown, many believe the cause to be genetically driven while others believe it to be due to the environment that the mother is living in while pregnant (ie. smoking, diet, and use of any medications during pregnancy).
These malformations can be diagnosis during a routine ultrasound or after the baby is born (more likely to see cleft palate after the baby is born). According to the CDC there is 2,650 babies born with cleft palate and 4,440 babies born with cleft lip annually. Surgical intervention is the treatment for these malformations.
The surgery is recommend before the first 12 months for cleft lip, and before the first 18 months for cleft palate. These are life changing surgeries which allow the babies to improve their speech, appearance, breathing, and language development.
Please reach out to your local dentist if your baby has any of these orofacial malformations, so they will be able to get your baby the proper care.
-Dr. Gianino & Team