Cleft lip is a birth defect in which the parts of the face that form the upper lip remain split, instead of sealing together before birth. Similar splits can occur in the roof of the mouth or palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate can each occur alone or together in the same person (cleft lip and palate). Many adults with a cleft will not be under the care of an NHS Cleft Team. You may have already been discharged when you were , or maybe your treatment took place before the Cleft Teams existed. Whatever the reason, you are entitled to treatment for issues caused by your cleft no matter your age.
Other problems may arise later on. Clefts can cause hearing loss, speech difficulties and dental problems, such as missing, misshaped or irregularly aligned teeth. Children with cleft lip or cleft palate may also be at greater risk for cavities, since they often have weak areas in . Adults who have had corrective cleft lip/palate surgery as children often continue to experience speech, dental, or appearance-related complications or concerns.