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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 only one side 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:
January 19, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Adam David Schaffner, MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology
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North Kansas City Hospital.