Why are cleft lips and palettes such common birth defects?
Do any of you have these defects? Did you have surgery?
Cleft chins are harelip just waiting to happen.
Clefts are weird. Cleft chins are desired; cleft pallets -not so much.
Cleft palates are more common in developing countries, no?
I only ask because those ads for charities that pay for kids' cleft palate correction surgeries in third world countries have been in every magazine for years, while in the mean time I never hear of this being a common birth defect in the US or other developed countries. I kind of assumed that it might have something to do with prenatal malnutrition.
Cleft palates can actually be detected during ultrasound. Most clefts are repaired shortly after birth. There's all sorts of clefts though- lip, palate, tongue...and there are some that are holes in the palate where the bone didn't fuse and it's just covered by skin. But it's really rare for people in the US to not have them fixed right after birth.
I've worked in and owned a daycare for over 20 years. There are plenty of babies that are born with a cleft palett, or a cleft lip, but with almost all of the babies I've taken care of they have had almost all of the surgery they will need done by the time they are about 2. Tho there have been some really bad cases where everything couldn't be fully surgically closed untill the kids are 5-6.
The surgery on their lips is usualy done first so there will be very little scarring and when the kids reach near puberty they have a piece of doner tissue permanently implanted in their lip to fill out the little area where the lip area was reconected. I have also seen kids who have dermabrasion done when they are 4-5 and they have absolutley no scars.
They're caused by herditary MTHFR defects. 30% of the population has these mutations. Sometimes, the mother taking folic acid disguises them, but the real need is for methylfolate because people with MTHFR mutations can't process any of the non-methylated versions of B vitamins.