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Conditions

Cleft Palate

Cleft Palate

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About one in 700 babies born in the UK have a cleft palate (also called a ‘hairlip’), a cleft lip, or both. Cleft palate means there is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip refers to a split in the upper lip. The condition isn’t harmful, but it can alarming for new mums and dads.

Cleft lips and palates can be the result of a number of factors, including genetic, but it is thought that if mums-to-be smoke or drink excessively during pregnancy, don’t get enough folic acid or take certain medicines, the chances are increased. The condition itself means that during development, the tissues in the lip or mouth don’t join up. In the case of a cleft lip, the gap will be between the upper lip and the nose. In the case of a cleft palate, the gap is in the roof of the mouth.

Sometimes a cleft palate will be spotted during your 18-20 week scan, in which case you’ll be put in touch with a specialist before birth, but a cleft lip won’t be apparent until the baby actually arrives. Cleft lip can also make breast feeding tricky and, later on, have an impact on speech, hearing and dental development.

If your baby is born with cleft lip or palate, you’ll need to be put in touch with a team of specialists who can monitor the condition as your baby grows. An operation at around three months can help repair cleft lip, and surgery in the first year can treat a cleft palate. After that it’ll depend on how severe the cleft is. For some kids with cleft palate, a bone graft at the age of 8 or 9 will help repair the jaw.

As children grow up and become more self-conscious, cleft palate can become more of an emotional issue. Even after surgery, it often remains apparent, but there are plenty of support groups around to help children come to terms with it. The Cleft Lip and Palate Association [http://www.clapa.com/] is a good place to start.

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I am 28 years old from the uk Is there any groups where i can meet there people like me i got a cleft plalete because i have no one else to talk about it





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I like this article but something just bugs me. Quoting the article, " About one in 700 babies born in the UK have a cleft palate (also called a ‘hairlip’), a cleft lip, or both." Please do not use "hairlip" (which is a misspelling of harelip) as another word for cleft lip/cleft palate. It is considered a derogatory term because it is referencing that the cleft palate/cleft lip resembles a hare's (rabbit's) mouth. As a cleft palate, most of this article rings true for me. Many cases of cleft lip and palate are different. Some kids have lots of hearing issues, I was fortunate enough not to have anything serious, some have a bilateral cleft palate/lip which appear on two sides of the mouth, I have a unilateral cleft palate (one side of mouth). Some times the surgery scars are hardly noticeable, some children don't have much of a speech problem, others do. There's a large variety of things that can differentiate them from other clefts. I also had some bullying in school, mostly the first year of middle school. Elementary wasn't bad, but when people asked me about my surgery scar I would get really nervous and I became really shy. Rest of middle school was pretty much a breeze because I finally got some confidence and friends who didn't care about my scar and accepted me for who I really am inside. They don't know I'm a cleft palate and perhaps I'll tell them soon. One last thing that bothers me is that I've never really met another cleft close up before and gotten to know them. I've seen a mother before holding a tiny baby with a cleft lip, and I saw this older boy once at my orthodontist who I overheard had a cleft palate from his mother. That's it. I really wish I could have the chance to meet somebody else so I won't feel so alone. Well, I am going to this big school next year with about 2,000 kids so I'm bound to meet at least 1-2 clefties there! Be proud of your cleft and who you are, it doesn't change you and if it does, if anything it makes you stronger.





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My son was born with cleft lip & cleft palate. Has had 2 repairs for both. In 2012. He is 2 1/2, i has trouble with speech but im not surewhy he acts like a baby sometimes. Im not sure of a normal chilf cuz my 3 1/2 yr old was a 2lb premiee and 7 weeks early. So im not sure if what hes doing is normal? I need help.





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I am 37 years old, male, and cleft lip & palate, and missing cartilage on the left side of my nose. I do have trouble with speech but i do not let it discourage me. I am strong and forceful! I'm not a body builder but I am naturally in good shape. I am not afraid to speak my mind, speak up, and be bold! I have found that if you act as if you have a defect, you'll be treated like you do. Stand up straight, be proud, be assertive, and just be natural! I have always had a job working in the public and very rarely will I have someone stare... I don't allow it. I don't get nasty, but I'll ask them "did you need some help". I work for myself now in NW Ohio. I find it's the best. Now, I've never told anyone this before, but God. I am THANKFUL for my disfigurement! I really am! I know most of your jaws have probably dropped... Here is why: If I was totally normal looking, I would be very attractive. I would most likely have a totally different personality, I have deduced that I would also be sleeping around and in fact, possess the very same character traits I loathe in an individual. Most importantly, if I was busy sleeping around and being "mr popular", I would not have time for God and I would not know His love and grace and I would be lost. :( So, please, pray you find peace, pray for strength, and remember, God loves you and I do too!





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I'm 13 years old and being bullied because of my cleftlip and palate. I've had girls come up to me before and tell me "wow you look really ugly" or "did someone run your nose over?". If only they knew what it was like to be told all these hurtful things. I have a hard time with going out in public because I can feel everyone's eyes judging me but hey I only need Netflix and my cats(; My family is what keeps me strong and going. Without them I wouldn't be the amazing person I am today.





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I also have had these sorts of comments but honestly you realise the sort of people saying that stuff are really immature, looking for a way to drag people down. Most people won't notice it really, most of those people you think are staring are not. In a few years time everybody will look down on those horrible girls saying that stuff.

i'm 25 n still growin' (with my cleft palate). I'd been op'd, but still have the speech problem. I's told that i need to be op'd again for a 'Pharyngeal flap'. But my family mmbrs doesnt seem to care. ( i didnt tell 'em about it though {dont feel like doin so, i feel shy/inferior!} 1 of my sis knows that i need to undergo the 'flap' surgery,but it seems that she doesnt care. She didnt tell any1 in the family.) i'm lonely,dperessed,angry(at everythng) ... Blah,blah,blah,... ;( ;( :(





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Hey its Neela,Philip thank u very much for your reply, but I don't think my country have a maxillofacial prosthdontist:( I did 4 surgeries but I still have a hole in my palate and deformity.. I even try going overseas to fix it.





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Neela, are you in the u.k? If you are unhappy with the results of past treatments you can still get surgery on the NHS. Google CLAPA to find the surgical team for your region or look on Facebook, CLAPA adult voices group

Hi am 29 years old born with cleft lip and palate all my life I wanted to be normal unfortunately that didn't happen up to now.. Am always sad because of my face:( I have fear every time I go out what if people don't understand me(speech problem)) It really hurts being cleft.





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I "highly" recommend that you see a maxillofacial prosthdontist. He (or she) can fabricate for you what they call an oral obturator. This is actually a dental appliance that will close your cleft palate without surgery. I had my original obturator for 39-years! It was originally fabricated in 1968 and it changed my formative years dramatically. This device will provide absolute wonders for you. PLEASE follow-thru with my Suggestion.

I am 14 and born with a cleft lip and palate but over the summer I attended camp, they also allow kids with other serious illnesses and I learned that it's okay to be different and we have to deal with it and we are really beautiful and a gift from God he loves us as much as he loves the next person and we should live life to the fullest also the silver lining is it to joke about your condition do not let people laugh at you laugh with them explain to them about your cleft and who knows maybe you will make a new friend ALWAYS REMEMBER WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!!!! We are brave





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I'm 22 years old. I was born with a cleft palette and cleft lip. As many of you I've been bullied my entire life. My family moved a lot for other reasons and that ment I had to switch schools and be torchured all over again by a different crowd of kids. Right now I am suffering from major depression and anxiety. I am on three different medications and they do not seem to be working at all. I'm not trying to have a pity party for myself but I understand what you all are going through. And I really wish I had the answers to help myself and other people with this birth defect. But all we can say is screw the people that made fun of us and be the best we can be.





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