Cleft palate oral malformation that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside the mother. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly.
A cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can involve the hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (the soft back portion of the roof of the mouth).
How Cleft Palate Diagnosed?
Because clefting causes very obvious physical changes, a cleft palate is easy to diagnose. Prenatal ultrasound can sometimes determine if a cleft exists in an unborn child. If the clefting has not been detected in an ultrasound prior to the baby's birth, a physical exam of the mouth, nose, and palate confirms the presence of cleft lip or cleft palate after a child's birth. Sometimes diagnostic testing may be conducted to determine or rule out the presence of other abnormalities.