Cleft palate
An opening in the roof of the mouth (the palate) due to a failure of the palatal shelves to come fully together from either side of the mouth and fuse, as they normally should, during embryonic development. The opening in the palate permits communication between the nasal passages and the mouth. Surgery is needed to close the palate. Cleft palate is a common physical birth defects, although not as common as cleft lip. About 1 baby in 2,000 is born with cleft palate versus 1 baby in 1,000 with cleft lip. In dysmorphology (the study of birth defects) and medical genetics, a distinction is made between "cleft lip +/- (plus or minus) cleft palate" and "cleft palate only." They are separate entities. In "cleft lip +/- (plus or minus) cleft palate," the cleft in the lip causes the cleft in the palate. In "cleft palate only," the cleft in the palate arises through another mechanism. It is not induced by the cleft lip. Cleft palate can be isolated or be part of a syndrome. By isolated is meant that the child is otherwise normal. Cleft palate is a part of many syndromes, for example, the popliteal pterygium syndrome, an autosomal (non-sex-linked) dominant disorder in which there is webbing behind the knees (pterygium means a wing) together with cleft palate and pits in the lower lip. If normal parents have an otherwise normal child with a cleft lip and palate, there is an increased risk of 4-5% for each of their other children to be affected. If an otherwise normal child has cleft palate only, the risk for the next child to have it, too, is 2-6%.

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cleft palate n congenital fissure of the roof of the mouth produced by failure of the two maxillae to unite during embryonic development and often associated with cleft lip called also palatoschisis

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a fissure in the midline of the palate due to failure of the two sides to fuse in embryonic development. Only part of the palate may be affected, or the cleft may extend the full length with bilateral clefts at the front of the maxilla; it may be accompanied by a cleft lip and disturbance of tooth formation. Cleft palates can be corrected by surgery.

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congenital fissure of the soft palate or both the soft and hard palates, due to faulty fusion of the palatine processes; it typically opens through the roof of the mouth into the nasal cavity and extends anteriorly to the premaxilla, where it deviates to the right or left, following the line of fusion. Called also palatoschisis, uranoschisis, and uranostaphyloschisis (cleft of both the hard and the soft palate).

Severe cleft palate, the cleft extending from the soft to the hard palate.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cleft palate — n. a cleft from front to back along the middle of the palate, or roof, of the mouth, caused by the failure of the two parts of the palate to join in prenatal development …   English World dictionary

  • cleft palate — cleft palates N VAR If someone has a cleft palate, they were born with a narrow opening along the roof of their mouth which makes it difficult for them to speak properly …   English dictionary

  • cleft palate — n a split in the top of the inside of someone s mouth, that they are born with and that makes it difficult for them to speak clearly …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cleft palate — noun count a medical condition in which there is a narrow space inside someone s mouth at the top, so that it is difficult for them to speak clearly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cleft palate — ► NOUN ▪ a congenital split in the roof of the mouth …   English terms dictionary

  • cleft palate — a congenital defect of the palate in which a longitudinal fissure exists in the roof of the mouth. [1840 50] * * * Fairly common congenital disorder in which a fissure forms in the roof of the mouth. It may affect only the soft palate or extend… …   Universalium

  • cleft palate — noun a congenital fissure of the hard palate • Hypernyms: ↑birth defect, ↑congenital anomaly, ↑congenital defect, ↑congenital disorder, ↑congenital abnormality * * * noun, pl ⋯ ates [count] medical : a split in the roof of the mouth that some… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cleft palate — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms cleft palate : singular cleft palate plural cleft palates a medical condition in which there is a narrow space inside someone s mouth at the top, so that it is difficult for them to speak clearly …   English dictionary

  • cleft palate — cleft′ pal′ate n. pat a congenital defect of the palate in which a longitudinal fissure exists in the roof of the mouth • Etymology: 1840–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • cleft palate — a fissure in the midline of the palate due to failure of the two sides to fuse in embryonic development. Only part of the palate may be affected, or the cleft may extend the full length with bilateral clefts at the front of the maxilla; it may be …   The new mediacal dictionary

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