How do cleft lip and palate develop?

Failure of fusion. There are essentially three layers in the developing embryo and it is felt that failure of the middle layer to advance and fuse in the face (from the frontonasal process of the bronchial arches) maybe responsible. While socioeconomic factors and nutrition play a role, genetic factors are also contributory.
Birth defect. The formation of a face is a complicated process involving fusion of different tissues and cell types. Cleft lip and/or palate are caused by failure of those processes to proceed as they normally do. There is a spectrum of abnormailities that fall into this category.
Failure to develop. Cleft lip and palate develop or rather, fail to develop in utero. When the fetus is just around two months old, protuberances start in the head area and coalesce to form the face. If these protuberances fail to fuse, a cleft develops. A cleft can develop in many different sites but the most common are in the upper lip and upper palate. 1 in 700 babies will have a cleft.
Cleft Lip / Palate. The facial features that form the lip and palate fuse in weeks six through eight of gestation. When this process fails due to genetic or environmental factors, a cleft lip or palate result.

Related Questions

Chances of another child with cleft lip and palate?

Depends on linkage. Cleft lip & palate are influenced by several genes & not passed as dominant or recessive traits. The chance of having a second child with a cl&p s quoted as ~4% while the chances of a cl&p parent having an affected child is ~6%.
Around 4% If you have no history of clefts in the family, the chances of having another child with a cleft is roughly 4%.

What is a simple definition of cleft lip and palate?

Unclosed lip/palate. Cleft lip can occur with or without cleft palate, and visa versa. It means there is a gap in the lip or palate that never closed in the developing fetus.
See below. Cleft lip and palate is a failure of the upper lip and roof of mouth to fuse together during envelopment in the mother's womb. When the child is born, the upper lip and palate will have a split that results in a hole between the mouth and the nose.
Incomplete formation. Simple explanation of cleft lip or palate is incomplete fusion of the lip midline and its associated palate.

What is the definition or description of: cleft lip and palate repair?

Medical Team. Cleft lip and palate repair requires a medical team made up of several specailists. The end goal is to surgically repair the defect in a way that maintains functionality of lips, palate, and associated structures, as well as to create an esthetic looking result. Repair may includes surgery and may require appliance wear as well as other therapies along the way.
It is Very well. Documented. You can google it and find all the information you need in detail, more than can be described in a brief synopsis here.
Many types. Cleft lip and palate cover a wide spectra of genetic soft and hard tissue defects. The spectrum goes from simple unilateral lip clefting to bilateral soft and hard tissue clefts. Repairs are differentiated by timing of and severity of the defect (s). Severe palate clefting can make a newborn unable to nurse, and an obturator or "cover" may be needed to allow ingestion or proper nursing.
Defect closure. The incomplete closure of the two sides of the palate or the lip that should occure during pregnancy results in a clift palate or lip. The surgery that is done to close those cliffs (gap) and correct it called clift palate or lip repaire.
See below. The lip, hard palate and soft palate form from different soft tissue structures during the fetal period. Sometimes these structures do not fuse properly before birth. When this happens, the non-fused junctions are called 'clefts'. They can involve any of the structures (lip, hard palate and soft palate) or all three. They can be repaired surgically by trained personnel.

I had a cleft lip and palate. What are my future children's chances of getting it?

~6% Parent to child risk can best be calculated with a thorough review of the family tree and input from both sides of the family. A single affected patent will have ~6% risk per pregnancy if the other parent is not affected. Be aware that any pregnancy has some risk of a surprise at dellivery. A consultation with a genetic counselor could review all your risks.
Inheritance CLP. For cleft lip without palate (you-father affected) the risk is 2%. For cleft lip and palate (again-father affected) the risk is 7% without other "syndromes" associated with this. Cleft lip and cleft lip and palate are 2 times more common in males. Isolated cleft palates are 2 times more common in females. Inheritance is "multifactorial.".

What are the reasons for a baby to be born with cleft lip and palate?

Cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip and palate result from an interruption in development of the face during early gestation. The development of the lip typically occurs between weeks 5-7 and the palate between weeks 8-12 of gestation. These can be detected with prenatal ultrasound.
Multifactorial. In most cases, the cause of cleft lip and cleft palate is unknown. These conditions cannot be prevented. Most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

What is a "cleft lip/palate team"?

Diverse, expert team. A cleft lip/palate team is a group of healthcare providers with expertise in evaluation and management of cleft lip with or without cleft palate. These usually include: audiology, craniofacial/plastic surgery, dentistry, ear/nose/throat surgery, nursing, ophthalmology, oral/maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, psychology, speech therapy and a patient coordinator.
A bunch of people! A clp team is a group that treats this condition. Typically involves an oral surgeon, a dentist, a prosthodontists, and a speech therapist. There are many aspects to treating a case of clp, so a coordinated team approach with everyone working together is very important.
Docs that handle bot. The team does the internal stuff, then the plastic surgeon guys do the stuff on the outside demanding more esthetic outcomes.