Oral and facial clefts are congenital deformities that develop before birth.
A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth.
A cleft lip is an upper lip that is split into two segments.
A cleft lip or cleft palate typically is addressed with surgery shortly after birth. This type of surgery often is highly successful. The bone near the teeth is often treated later, as the child is growing up.
Oral surgeons are part of a team of doctors and other health professionals who treat issues stemming from a cleft lip or cleft palate, both for children with the condition and their families.