This is a congenital (from birth) deformity where there remains
a gap in the lip and/or in the palate. Exact cause is not
known. Some drugs like Thalidomide taken by pregnant mother
and if she suffers from some viral infections like Rubella
virus may be a causative factor. Heredity may play some role.
The defect may be unilateral (one sided) or bilateral (both
sided). In cleft lip cosmesis is the main problem. In cleft
palate there is problem in feeding, speech and dentition.
Ideal time for repair of cleft lip is between 3 to 6 months
of age and that of cleft palate is between 10 to 18 months