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Chad M. Boustany D.D.S., M.S.

Cleft Palate


smiling babyAt Revive Dental and Implant Center, we aim to give you the highest quality information, service, and support when it comes to your dental health. Whether you have tooth gaps in your mouth, cavities, or need a tooth extraction, we are prepared to provide the expertise and tools you need to bring back your great smile. When it comes to a major oral health issue like a cleft palate, we want to help you learn about it, come up with a treatment plan specific to your child’s needs, and then bring your child through a successful oral surgery as safely and comfortably as possible.

What Is A Cleft Palate?


You may have heard of a cleft lip before, which is when you have a split upper lip that can affect your ability to eat and speak. While cleft lips are certainly unpleasant to deal with, a cleft palate is an even more serious condition that occurs when there is an opening between the roof of your mouth and the underside of your nose. This can cause the upper jaw to function improperly and make it difficult to close. This can cause a host of issues from making it hard to breathe, talk, and eat to causing psychological problems because of how the condition makes you look and feel.

How Does A Cleft Palate Occur?


A cleft palate can develop during the sixth through the ninth week of pregnancy when a baby’s mouth is coming together. If the tissue that makes up the roof of the baby’s mouth is incomplete or grows unusually, an opening may appear in the front and back of the palate or only in one of those locations. This peculiar growth pattern, or lack thereof, becomes more likely if the mother is a smoker, diabetic, or uses medications to treat epilepsy during her first trimester. This type of birth defect is usually isolated, but it is still possible for other inherited genetic defects to appear along with a cleft palate.

How To Treat A Cleft Palate


Because a cleft palate can appear in different ways and locations in the mouth, we customize the required oral surgery to match your needs. Broadly speaking, though, it is most common to pursue corrective surgery when the child with the cleft palate is three to six months old. In this surgery, we will close the gap in the roof of the mouth and restore muscular function to the soft palate. This will be an ongoing process, and we will monitor your child with you as they grow to ensure that they are healing and growing properly. If needed, we will be on hand for additional surgeries, and we will keep a close eye on their hearing ability and speech development.

If your child suffers from a cleft palate, our goal is to help you get the proper treatment and therapy needed to help your child, and you live a healthy and happy life. If you think that cleft palate surgery might be needed for your child and wish to learn more about the procedure, call us today at (304) 467-4265.
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