A study of speech, language, hearing, and dentition in children with cleft lip only

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2008 Sep;45(5):485-94. doi: 10.1597/06-207.1. Epub 2008 Jan 2.


Objective: To examine the prevalence of speech, language, hearing, and dental problems in children with an initial diagnosis of isolated cleft lip only (CL), for which evidence-based practice can be developed.

Design: Retrospective chart review of 95 patients with cleft lip (age range, 2.8 to 3.7 years; mean, 3.1 years).

Results: Speech and language impairment was documented in 13% and 18% of the patients, respectively. Thirty-three percent of the children presented with middle ear effusion. Thirteen percent had abnormal hearing. With one exception, the type and degree of hearing loss was a mild conductive loss most often attributed to the presence of effusion. Dental and/or occlusal anomalies were documented in 62% of the patients. A supernumerary tooth was the most frequently occurring dental anomaly and crossbite the most frequently occurring occlusal anomaly. Two children had a submucous cleft palate. Resonance was abnormal in 5% of the children.

Conclusion: Children with an initial diagnosis of CL need to be monitored by the interdisciplinary team for speech, language, ear disease, hearing, and dentition beginning in infancy and followed until all management needs are met.

MeSH terms

  • Articulation Disorders / etiology
  • Bone Conduction / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Lip / complications*
  • Cleft Palate / classification
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / etiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / etiology
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / etiology*
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / etiology*
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / etiology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Disorders / etiology*
  • Tooth Abnormalities / etiology*
  • Tooth, Supernumerary / etiology
  • Voice Disorders / etiology