What is a Cleft Palate?

In case you are interested in what is a cleft palate you should know that it is a kind of oral malformation that the babies get affected by during the early stages of development. The cleft appears if there isn’t enough tissue in the mouth or if the tissue cannot fuse together.

What is a Cleft Palate

Definition of cleft palate

This refers to an opening or a split in the mouth’s roof. This kind of malformation can affect the hard palate and the soft palate. This problem can appear in one side or both sides. Although usually the problem appears accompanied by cleft lip, it can also appear on its own.

Children affected by the cleft palate problem

About 700 babies are affected by the problem on a yearly basis and it is considered to be one of the most common birth defects. The problem is more prevalent among children of Asian, Native American or Latino descent.  It is interesting to know that it is more common among boys than among girls.

The causes

When asking what is a cleft palate, you should know that in the majority of the cases the origin of the defect is not known and it is a condition that can’t be prevented. The specialists claim that it is the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. It looks like babies have a higher chance of being affected if they have some family history of cleft palate.


If you are interested in the causes of cleft palate you should know that it is possible for the medication that the mother took during her pregnancy to have a role to play. The drugs that can cause the defect include anticonvulsant drugs, methotrexate, and acne drugs such as Accutane.

Chemicals and viruses

The people asking what is a cleft palate ought to know that the defect can be a result of being exposed to certain kinds of chemicals or viruses. In the same time it can also be caused by some kind of medical condition that affects the baby while he or she is still in the womb.

Diagnosing the problem of cleft palate

If you are asking what is a cleft palate, it is good to know that it leads to obvious physical signs and thus it is fairly easy to diagnose. If the mother has an ultrasound the sonographer will be able to tell whether the baby is affected or not.


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