Cleft palate is a common congenital craniofacial anomaly.
The clinical features of cleft palate are due to an open hole between the nasal cavity and the oral cavity.
- During speech, there is entry of air into the nasal cavity which leads to a nasal quality in the voice. There are also other speech problems such as distorted speech.
- There are also problems in feeding. This causes marked problem in infants who require a proper suction mechanism in order to feed.
- Patients of cleft palate may also have breathing problems due to the open communication between the oral and nasal cavities.
- Cleft palate can also lead to difficulty in hearing. The tensor veli palatini is unable to open the Eustachian tube which will lead to an increased secretion of fluid in the middle ear. Infections such as otitis media are more common in these infants .
- Hearing problems in early life may also later lead to difficulty in articulation. This occurs due to inability of the children to mimic language due to defective hearing. Due to velopharyngeal inadequacy, there is an inability to produce some particular sounds that are required for normal speech.
- A marked increase is seen in the occurrence of psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, internalization, social withdrawal and aggressive behaviors in these patients later in life.
Entire Body System
- Feeding Difficulties
We report the cases of a father and daughter diagnosed with CPLSS who presented with respiratory and feeding difficulties at birth undergoing surgical correction. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Furthermore, symptoms to be aware of are feeding difficulties combined with nasal regurgitation and ear problems such as conductive hearing loss and persistent otitis media. [doi.org]
Cleft Lip and Palate Symptoms Beyond the cosmetic abnormality, other possible complications that may be associated with cleft lip and cleft palate include: Feeding difficulties. Feeding difficulties occur more with cleft palate abnormalities. [hopkinsmedicine.org]
The infant’s appearance, feeding difficulties, frequent trips to the doctor and surgeries can be quite stressful. This may, in turn, have an impact on the adaptation process of both child and parents. [chla.org]
Learn More About Topic Hoarseness Hoarseness (also called dysphonia) is an abnormal change in the quality of your voice, making it sound raspy, strained, breathy, weak, higher or lower in pitch, inconsistent, or fatigued, often making it harder to talk [entnet.org]
The inadequacy of iron is related to brain functions such as fatigue, mood swings, and brain fog. These demonstrate the possible significance of iron and its insufficiency can cause depression. [lavsguide.com]
- Nasal Voice
Surgery can result in significant improvement, but if deformities are severe or treatment is inadequate, patients may be left with a nasal voice, compromised appearance, and a tendency to regurgitate. [msdmanuals.com]
Some kids, however, will continue to sound nasal after cleft palate repair, and some may develop a nasal voice later on. More surgeries may be needed as children grow older and their facial structure changes. [kidshealth.org]
Some kids, however, will continue to sound nasal after cleft palate repair, and some may develop a nasal voice later on. [brennerchildrens.org]
On the clinical examination, coughing, sneezing, drainage of nasal discharge from the external nares and poor growth were found. Vital signs and results of blood examination were within normal ranges. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
On physical examination, coughing, sneezing, presence of nasal discharge from the external nares and poor growth were found. Vital signs and results of blood examination were within normal ranges. [doi.org]
Your child has chills, a cough, or sounds congested. These are signs that your child may have an infection. Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash. The medicine your child is taking may be causing these symptoms. [drugs.com]
- Sleep Apnea
All patients presented low pre- and postoperative risk for obstructive sleep apnea. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Schwab, Genetic determinants of upper airway structures that predispose to obstructive sleep apnea, Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 10.1016/j.resp.2005.06.006, 147, 2-3, (289-298), (2005). [doi.org]
Babies should be able to feed comfortably within a reasonable amount of time, without struggling to breathe, choking, or working very hard to get the milk out of the bottle. [urmc.rochester.edu]
Make sure your child can swallow without choking, and gets good nutrition. Give you, your child, and your family help and support. [drugs.com]
Commonly babies with cleft palate may gag, choke, or aspirate the milk while sucking. Babies with cleft palates are at higher risk of infections of the middle ear. The clefts lead to building up of fluid in the middle ear leading to loss of hearing. [news-medical.net]
This can cause choking. Special nipples and bottles are available that can help. Your nurse, occupational therapist, or lactation specialist will help you figure out what works best for your baby. They may also help with feeding issues. [saintlukeskc.org]
Is there anything we can do to prevent the mucus from causing him to choke? You need to see your doctor about that. Ear, nose and throat doctors specialize in problems involving the sinuses. [uichildrens.org]
Learn More About Topic Dysphagia Dysphagia means that you can’t swallow well. Many factors may cause dysphagia, and most are temporary and non-life-threatening. [entnet.org]
Related Topic Areas Aphasia Autism Craniofacial conditions Deafness Developmental speech difficulties Dysfluency Dysphagia Head and neck cancer Language disorder Learning disabilities Mental health (Adults) Social communication difficulties Social emotional [rcslt.org]
Jaw & Teeth
The authors present a 16-year-old patient with no known history of cleft palate who developed velopharyngeal insufficiency after a Le Fort I osteotomy performed for the correction of maxillary hypoplasia and a Class III malocclusion. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Goslon yardstick Three of the authors have mentioned clinical features that they considered to be most important in categorizing the severity of malocclusion. [slideshare.net]
[…] syndrome Craniosynostosis Crouzon syndrome Pfeiffer syndrome Saethre-Chotzen syndrome Cleft lip and palate Cleft lip and palate Craniofacial clefts Pierre Robin syndrome Dentofacial and maxillofacial deformities Chin deformities Distraction osteogenesis Malocclusion [choa.org]
When the teeth do not fit together properly (malocclusion) and there is an associated facial deformity, such as an imbalance in facial proportions. [mottchildren.org]
- Anterior Open Bite
The second stage, still in the planning phase, will correct the secondary deformity of an anterior open bite and will restore the missing lower anterior teeth. The original deformity and subsequent growth are discussed with the relevant literature. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Hearing Problem
These disorders can result in feeding problems, speech problems, hearing problems, and frequent ear infections. Less than half the time the condition is associated with other disorders. [dbpedia.org]
Late diagnosis of the cleft palate (CP) could initially result in feeding and growth impairment, and subsequently speech and hearing problems later in life. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
[…] for hearing problems An oral surgeon to reposition segments of the upper jaw when needed, to improve function and appearance and to repair the cleft of the gum An orthodontist to straighten and reposition teeth A dentist to perform routine dental care [webmd.com]
They may also have hearing problems, problems with their ears, or problems with their teeth. The major symptom is the presence of the cleft at birth. A cleft lip could be as small as a tiny notch in the upper lip. [familydoctor.org]
If left untreated, children with cleft lip and palate can suffer life-long handicaps including severe facial deformities, chronic dental and hearing problems, malnutrition and even social problems. [adventisthealth.org]
- Hearing Impairment
The patients were offered individualized ear surgery (PE tube placement) only if persistent middle ear fluid was present for over 3 months with a conductive hearing impairment. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Furthermore, this developmental language delay occurred in the absence of hearing impairment and oral motor or structural deficits such as cleft palate. For a baby who has a cleft palate only, then she has a choice. [dictionary.cambridge.org]
impairment); to assess and monitor hearing A nurse coordinator to provide ongoing supervision of the child's health A social worker/ psychologist to support the family and assess any adjustment problems A geneticist to help parents and adult patients [webmd.com]
Cleft lip and cleft palate can present a number of challenges for a child, including possible: feeding issues dental and orthodontic problems speech and language difficulties hearing impairment social and self-esteem challenges Because cleft lip and cleft [childrenshospital.org]
- Low Self-Esteem
Parents may suffer from denial, anger or guilt and the child suffers from a low self-esteem. [news-medical.net]
Psychological difficulties associated with physical appearance often involve low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Diagnosis and treatment of cleft palate Cleft palate may be diagnosed before birth, via ultrasound, or at birth. [britannica.com]
Feeling different to their peers can result in low self-esteem, which can in turn give children behavioral problems and difficulties making friends. [clapa.com]
There would be endless operations, the likelihood of ostracisation, bullying, low self-esteem. The shape of the face could be affected, with the entire upper jaw recessed. [theguardian.com]
A specialized craniofacial team is needed to treat this condition. There are different treatment modalities according to the type and severity of cleft palate. If child has undergone surgery early in life, it will lead to improved hearing. If we wait for the eruption of permanent teeth before correcting the defect surgically, a lesser number of corrective surgeries will be needed later in life.
Cleft palate can be treated by the use of a prosthetic device which can fill the gap in the palate. It can also be treated by the insertion of pins in fourth or fifth month of life. With each passing day, the parents have to tighten the screw so that both the bones can come closer. If the gap is involving the maxilla, a piece of bone can be taken from a rib or the hip of the patient for transplantation.
In order to avoid speech and hearing problems, the patient should be treated as early as possible. Grommets or tympanostomy tubes can be used to aerate the middle ear  . After surgical repair, the problem of speech is usually corrected.
Cleft palate results from the following etiologies.
- Genetic factors and familial factors   
- Environmental factors
- Maternal epilepsy  
- Gestational diabetes
- Use of steroids, diazepam and phenytoin during pregnancy 
- Pierre Robin Sequence is the most common syndrome. In this syndrome, the patients have isolated cleft palate, posteriorly displaced tongue and posteriorly placed jaw .
Cleft palate occurs due to the inability of the palatine processes to meet during development. In incomplete cleft palate, the defect usually involves the soft palate and hard palate is attached to vomer and nasal septum. In incomplete cleft palate, there is usually a disruption in the insertion of muscle fibers. If hard palate is not attached to the nasal septum or vomer, it is referred to as complete cleft palate and both the hard and soft palates are involved. There is a primary palate in front of alveolar foramen and a secondary palate behind it.
Cleft palate can occur in either U form or V form. V form is more common in isolated cases of cleft palate whereas U form is more common in Pierre Robin Sequence.
Cleft palate is a developmental defect in the formation of the palate. It can involve both the soft palate and the hard palate. When both the palates are involved simultaneously, the condition is known as complete cleft palate .
Usually maternal, genetic and family factors play an important role. Air from the mouth escapes into the nose which leads to velopharyngeal inadequacy. Patients usually present with abnormalities in feeding, hearing and speaking. Later on in life, the incidence of psychiatric symptoms such as aggressive behaviour and depression increases. Surgical correction is treatment of choice.
Patients of cleft palate are usually infants and present with feeding problem. On examination there is a hole in the palate. With passage of time patient develops hearing, speech problems and psychiatric symptoms. Surgical repair is the choice of treatment.
Early surgical treatment leads to improved hearing and speech. Prosthetic devices, pins and in severe form, bone from other sites of body may be used to fill the hole.