A cleft occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during fetal development. Clefts can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth (which is made up of both hard and soft palate). Clefts have become the number one birth defect in many developing countries and globally an estimated 1 in every 700 newborns have a cleft lip/palate.
The following sites should answer basic questions about what causes a cleft lip/palate and how and when treatment can take place.
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