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Cleft means 'split' or 'separation', and in Cleft Palate and Lip, the palate and lip are split respectively. This occurs as a congenital abnormality because during development in the womb, the face develops in sections which fuse together. In every 1 in 700 pregnancies, this fusion does not not occur properly, causes Cleft Palate or Lip.
A cleft lip is a condition that creates an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and <!--LGfEGNT2Lhm-->nose. It looks as though there is a split in the lip. It can range from a slight notch in the colored portion of the lip to complete separation in one or both sides of the lip extending up and into the <!--LGfEGNT2Lhm-->nose. Cleft lip can be unilateral or bilateral. A cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth has not joined completely. A cleft palate can range from just an opening at the back of the soft palate to a nearly complete separation of the roof of the mouth (affecting the soft and hard palate).
<!--LGfEGNT2Lhm-->Surgery can help repair some on the structure.
Source; Adapted from CLAPA (UK)