DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cleft lip. Mouth of a baby showing a cleft lip. This is a birth defect caused by a failure of the face to fuse together correctly during the embryonic stage of development. It affects about one in every 900 babies. In this case there is also a cleft palate, where the roof of the mouth also fails to join, and feeding must be done with a modified bottle. Cleft lip is usually repaired by surgery when the baby is around three months old. There are generally no complications, although dental management and speech therapy may be necessary in some cases.
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