cleft palate

a congenital defect of the palate in which a longitudinal fissure exists in the roof of the mouth.
[1840-50]

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Fairly common congenital disorder in which a fissure forms in the roof of the mouth.

It may affect only the soft palate or extend through the hard palate, so that the nasal cavity opens into the mouth. The septum (dividing wall) between the nostrils is often absent. Cleft lip, a fissure in the lip beneath the nostril, or other abnormalities may accompany it. Cleft palate limits the ability of an infant to suck, which may lead to malnutrition, and causes speech problems in childhood. Surgical repair, usually at about 18 months of age, forms an airtight separation between nose and mouth. Speech training is still needed, and patients may have a high risk of nose, ear, and sinus infections.

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      a fairly common congenital deformity in which the palatal plates (in the roof of the mouth) fail to close during the second month of prenatal life. The resulting fissure may occur on the soft palate only, or it may extend forward through the hard palate, in which case the nasal cavity opens into the mouth and the nasal septum and its vomer bone are often absent. Cleft palate may be unilateral or bilateral and may occur alone or in conjunction with cleft lip (a fissure of the lip beneath the nostril) or other abnormalities. In infancy, cleft palate limits the child's ability to suck and may lead to malnutrition; later, speech difficulties develop. Surgery to form an airtight separation between nose and mouth is usually performed at about 18 months of age. Even with expert surgical repair, however, speech training is necessary, and nose, ear, and sinus infections may remain a hazard.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • 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

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  • 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… …   Medical dictionary

  • 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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