Anomalies Related to Oral Cavity:
Under these anomalies we will briefly discuss the cleft lip and cleft palate.
You must have seen and/or nursed a baby born with a cut on upper lip extending to nostril and sometimes this may be associated with discontinuity in the roof of the oral cavity. You will recall that this is nothing but the cleft lip and/or cleft palate so let us understand and define cleft lip and claft palate,
A cleft lip is characterised by a fissure or opening in the upper lip and is a result of failure of embryqnic structures of the face to unite (failure of fusion of lateral and medial nasal processes forming the upper lip). The fissure may be unilateral or bilateral and may be incomplete-a notching of upper lip but may extend to nostril or it may be complete cleft which involves the alveolar process to some degree and the alanasi is displaced towards the side. The floor of the nares and the gum in which the upper teeth are set may also be deformed.
After knowing the definition let us now consider the incidence and clinical picture of cleft lip. Its incidence varies from country to country. The condition occurs more in males than in females. i.e., 1 in 800 live births.
Assessment of the child will reveal (i) defective look, (ii) difficulty in sucking and swallowing, (iii) defective dentition and (iv) difficulty in speech.