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Cleft Palate

Clinical Overview


Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority

While cleft palates often occur with cleft lips, they can occur individually and are considered a particular type of oral-facial birth defect. A cleft is a separation in a body structure, and clefts that affect the roof of the mouth, or the palate, occur in 1 out of every 2,000 infants. The more common association of cleft palate with cleft lip is the fourth most common birth defect in the United States and affects 1 in 700 newborns.

Last updated: May-03-07

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