Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Classification of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Cleft palate and
cleft lip may occur independently of each other or at
the same time. The terms below are often used to describe and classify cleft
lip and cleft palate and to describe a cleft more precisely.
A cleft palate is first categorized according to whether it affects
the hard palate, the soft palate, or both.
See a picture
comparing a normal mouth with two types of cleft palate.
Cleft lip is classified according to its location and
See a picture
comparing a complete cleft lip and an incomplete cleft lip.
involve one or both sides of the upper lip. They rarely occur in the lower lip.
If cleft lip occurs with cleft palate, the upper alveolar ridges,
which are where the teeth sit, are also involved.
Complete classification of a cleft palate combines all of the
appropriate terms. For example:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerAdam David Schaffner, MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Adam David Schaffner, MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital