12 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between a cleft lip and palate?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tito Vasquez
Surgery - Plastics
5 doctors agree

In brief: Related but separate

A cleft, in general, refers to the incomplete or complete fusion of tissue during embryo development.
A cleft lip refers to the incomplete or complete fusion of the upper lip skin and muscle, whereas the palate is the hard and soft tissue at the roof of the mouth. These structures are separate but can be associated with each other.

In brief: Related but separate

A cleft, in general, refers to the incomplete or complete fusion of tissue during embryo development.
A cleft lip refers to the incomplete or complete fusion of the upper lip skin and muscle, whereas the palate is the hard and soft tissue at the roof of the mouth. These structures are separate but can be associated with each other.
Dr. Tito Vasquez
Dr. Tito Vasquez
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Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
4 doctors agree

In brief: Quick anatomy lesson

Clefts can be unilateral or bilateral (on one side or both sides).
Clefts (splits) can involve lip only, the palate only, or both. A cleft lip is simply a surgical problem, which involves the lip and the nose. A cleft palate often contributes to problem with teeth, swallowing, speech, ear infections, etc. A team approach is important for best outcomes when cleft palate is present.

In brief: Quick anatomy lesson

Clefts can be unilateral or bilateral (on one side or both sides).
Clefts (splits) can involve lip only, the palate only, or both. A cleft lip is simply a surgical problem, which involves the lip and the nose. A cleft palate often contributes to problem with teeth, swallowing, speech, ear infections, etc. A team approach is important for best outcomes when cleft palate is present.
Dr. Mike Bowman
Dr. Mike Bowman
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Cosmetic vfunctional

While a cleft lip is essentially a cosmetic problem, a cleft palate is more of a functional disorder effecting speech, swallowing, dentition and hearing.

In brief: Cosmetic vfunctional

While a cleft lip is essentially a cosmetic problem, a cleft palate is more of a functional disorder effecting speech, swallowing, dentition and hearing.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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