Types of Clefts
It is the interruption of the continuity of the lip and perhaps the alveolus, i.e. the part of the maxilla that surrounds the teeth. The cleft of the lip is rarely exactly in the middle. If the lip and/or the alveolus separates completely, the cleft is called complete, while if only part of the lip separates is called incomplete. It can be unilateral or bilateral, i.e. from one or from both sides.
It is the separation of the palate (the roof of the mouth).
What applies for the cleft of the lip applies also for the cleft of the palate, except that when the cleft palate is not accompanied by cleft lip it is always in the midline and it might concern only the soft tissues or might include the bones of the hard palate as well. When there is also a cleft lip, cleft palate is usually towards the same side of the cleft lip.
Cleft lip and palate
It can be unilateral or bilateral, i.e. from one or from both sides and extends from the lip until the soft palate.
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