DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cleft palate. Close-up of the mouth of a baby with a cleft palate and lip. This congenital (present from birth) defect is 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 the condition of cleft palate, the roof of the mouth fails to join, and feeding must be done with a modified bottle. Cleft palate is usually repaired by surgery during early life. There are generally no complications, although dental management and speech therapy may be needed in some cases. Photographed in Africa.
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