You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: Defining Some Terms


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Just for clarity, a complete cleft lip is - in purest medical terms - called a "cleft of the primary palate" that is the lip, the alveolus and through to the incisive foramen (the place where the gum/palate makes the curve from a mostly vertical structure to a mostly horizontal structure). A complete cleft lip would then be a cleft of the lip, the gum and the palate up to the incisive foramen - or up to the point where the palate curves.

The hard and soft palate - in purest medical terms - is called "the secondary palate". A complete cleft of the secondary palate is a cleft from the incisive foramen, and running through the hard palate, continuing through the velum, all the way through the uvula. (And, of course, you can have partial clefts of the primary and/or secondary palates as well).

It gets confusing because I really don't understand why they call the lip, gum, nasal base and up to the incisive foramen a palate at all, but they do. And then, of course that confuses us with the terms "cleft lip" vs. "cleft palate" which is less exact in meaning.


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