Cleft lip and/or palate: review

Minerva Stomatol. 2014 Apr;63(4):111-26.
[Article in English, Italian]


Aim: Aim of the review was to provide a literature overview of the birth defects of cleft lip and/or cleft palate (CL/P).

Methods: Through the use of the PubMed database items were collected that would provide information about the condition, leading to the discussion of the following topics: epidemiology, anatomical features, genetics, environmental factors, diagnosis and treatment.

Results: According to these data, the CL/P are the most common congenital malformations of the craniofacial region. There are different phenotypes and clinical features of this malformation, which differ according to the anatomical structures involved: cleft lip, cleft lip and cleft palate. The etiology is multifactorial and includes both genetic factors and environmental factors. For proper diagnosis and treatment it is important to complete a multidisciplinary approach to guide the patient from birth to the end of growth. Among the outstanding figures for the care of the anomaly are: the gynecologist, the pediatrician, the maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontist. Individuals with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate may experience problems in feeding, pronunciation, hearing and social integration, which can be corrected to a different extent by surgery, dental treatment, speech therapy and psychosocial interventions.

Conclusion: Today the optimal treatment is difficult to find, because of the large variability of malformations and the subjective response of each patient to therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Lip* / diagnosis
  • Cleft Lip* / etiology
  • Cleft Lip* / surgery
  • Cleft Palate* / diagnosis
  • Cleft Palate* / etiology
  • Cleft Palate* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn