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Children's Health

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Normal and Cleft Palate

Normal palate


The roof of the mouth is known as the palate. The hard palate is in the front, closer to the teeth. The soft palate is in the back, toward the throat.

Examples of cleft palate


In cleft palate, the roof of the mouth (palate) has an opening (cleft) that may go through to the nasal cavity. This birth defect is corrected with one or more surgeries.

Illustrations copyright 2001 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerAdam David Schaffner, MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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