What Causes Cleft Lip and Palate? by kevinparker01


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									Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery                          Call: 713-791-0700

What Causes Cleft Lip and Palate?

Cleft lip and palate occurs when the tissue in the mouth or lip region is
inadequate and whatever tissue is there does not fuse together properly. It
occurs in the early months
of pregnancy. The disorder
is more frequent among
Asian        and       American
Indian populations than
among Europeans. Black
children have the least
chance of developing the

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate – Possible Causes

Researchers are of the belief that the majority of cases of these
malformations result from an interaction of environmental and hereditary
factors. These and other causative factors are discussed below:

Environmental Factors

    •   Maternal smoking – If a woman smokes when she is pregnant, she
        increases the chances of her baby developing a cleft. To be on the
        safer side, the mother should also try to avoid inhaling too much of
        second-hand smoke.

                                           Cleft Lip and Palate
Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery                          Call: 713-791-0700

    •   Mother consumes alcohol – Certain studies have revealed a
        connection between a pregnant woman’s alcohol consumption and the
        development of such malformations in her baby.

    •   Exposure to certain toxins or viruses

    •   Folic acid deficiency – Expectant women are expected to consume
        folic acid supplement daily during the first four months of gestation.
        Folic acid can reduce the risks of the baby developing a birth disorder.

    •   Obesity – Obesity in the mother increases the risks of the child
        developing cleft lip and palate.

    •   Medications consumed during the gestation period – Medications
        such as isotretinoin (for acne), anti-seizure drugs, and methotrexate
        (for arthritis, cancer and psoriasis) when taken during the gestation
        period may raise the risks.

Hereditary Cause and Family History

Research has shown that there are chances that certain genes children
acquire from their parents may make them more susceptible to getting cleft
lip and palate. If neither of the parents has a cleft but their child developed
one, there is a slight chance (2 to 4 percent) of a subsequent child getting the
disorder. If one of the parents has a cleft, the chances of a baby of theirs

                                           Cleft Lip and Palate
Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery                          Call: 713-791-0700

having a cleft is approximately four to five percent. The risks are even
higher if both parents have the malformation.
Pierre Robin Syndrome

Most of the infants affected by Pierre Robin syndrome would also have
developed a cleft palate. Pierre Robin syndrome is a rare disorder
characterized by an unusually small lower jaw resulting in the tongue falling
backwards in the throat. The condition can lead to breathing difficulties.

Other Risk Factors

    •   Non-balanced diet of the pregnant woman
    • Insufficient pre-natal care
    • Pregnancy in teenage years or after the age of 35
    • Retinoic acid
    • Sex - Females are more likely to get cleft palate without cleft lip. Boys
        stand a greater chance of developing a cleft lip with or without a cleft

The above is an overview of what causes cleft lip and palate. If your baby
has either or both of the conditions, get in touch with a reconstructive plastic
surgery specialist at an AAAASF accredited plastic surgery center to learn
about treatment options. The plastic surgeon you eventually choose for
surgery is one who should be experienced in successfully treating these
malformations. Do not delay treatment.

                                           Cleft Lip and Palate
Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery                          Call: 713-791-0700

Contact Details

Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery
6400 Fannin Suite 2290
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-791-0700
URL: http://www.drseanboutros.com/

                                           Cleft Lip and Palate

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