Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shocking Diseases of the Mouth

Is it possible to prevent a cleft lip or cleft palate?

The large majority of infants experiencing cleft lip or cleft palate do not have a genetic predisposition or obvious risk factors. During pregnancy, there are issues that may increase the likelihood of producing a newborn with cleft lip and/or cleft palate. These may include the following:

  1. Certain medications to help prevent maternal seizures or migraine headaches (for example, topiramate [Topamax])
  2. Certain medications that are used as cancer chemotherapy (including methotrexate [Rheumatrex, Trexall])
  3. Smoking cigarettes (no information yet regarding e-cigarettes)
  4. Alcohol consumption
  5. Lack of folic acid supplementation prior to conception and throughout the pregnancy

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics

REFERENCES:

Cleft Palate Foundation. <http://www.cleftline.org/parents-individuals/publications/support>

Jones, Kenneth Lyon. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: WB Saunders Co., 1997.

SMILES. <http://www.cleft.org>

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate - Patient Experience

    Did you experience cleft lip or cleft palate? Please tell us about your experience.

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors