Cleft Palate

Topics: Cleft lip and palate, Mouth, Palatine uvula Pages: 4 (1244 words) Published: April 3, 2013
During the 4th through 10th weeks of development, the face forms from five prominences that grow and fuse together. These prominences include the frontonasal prominence, two maxillary prominences and two mandibular prominences. During the 5th week, the frontonasal prominence develops two thickening near its lateral edges called nasal placodes. By the 6th week of development, each nasal placode develops a depression in its center called a nasal pit. The nasal pit will for each nostril. The rest of the nasal placode may be subdivided into a lateral nasal process (prominence) and a medial nasal process (prominence). During the 7th week, the two medial nasal processes fuse to form the intermaxillary segment. The intermaxillary segment and the maxillary prominence fuse, forming the upper lip and jaw structures. (Stoffer, 2003) The palate is formed from a primary palate and a secondary palate. The primary palate is formed from the intermaxillary segment. The secondary palate is formed from two palatine shelves. The palatine shelves are tissue extensions from the maxillary prominences. When the palatine shelves completely fuse, they also form the uvula. These events occur during the 8th to 10th weeks of development. (Stoffer, 2003)

Cleft lip and palate makes up approximately 50% of all oral and facial clefts with a unilateral cleft lip occurring more often than a bilateral cleft lip. A left-sided cleft lip occurs twice as often as a right-sided cleft lip. Cleft lip alone makes up 25% of clefts and occurs more frequently in males with or without cleft palate. Females are affected more with cleft palate alone. (Allen & Vessey, 2004)

“A cleft is a birth defect that occurs when the tissues of the lip and/or palate of the fetus do not fuse very early in pregnancy. A cleft lip, sometimes referred to as a harelip, is an opening in the upper lip that can extend into the base of the nostril. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth.” (Gulli, 2006)

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