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Cleft Lip and Palate Defects

The lip forms between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. As a baby develops during pregnancy, body tissue and special cells from each side of the head grow toward the center of the face and join together to make the face. This joining of tissue forms the facial features, like the lips and mouth. A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely.

The roof of the mouth (palate) is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open. Read more about cleft lip and cleft palate.

Cleft lip and cleft palate may occur together but also occur separately. The measures available include three groups:

In order to further refine the data being displayed, some advanced options are available at the state level. Users can filter results by:

  • Infant gender
  • Maternal age group
  • Maternal race/ethnicity

The low frequency of individual births defects means that most county level measures are suppressed due to counts of 5 or less.

Measure Description:

  • The Prevalence per 10K Live Births is the number of live-born infants diagnosed with the selected birth defect per 10,000 live births during the stated five year period.

Use the tabs to see the different data visualizations.

Measures are defined above the visualization. Additional help can be found in the Help Section.