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About Cleft

Causes of cleft

Even though cleft lips and palates are the most common facial birth defects it is still not fully clear what actually causes them. There is no single reason for any cleft case. Rather, there are genetic and environmental factors that make it more likely that a child is born with a cleft:

  • Parents or other family members have cleft (and other genetic reasons),
  • Consanguineous marriages (children born from a couple who are close relatives),
  • Vitamin deficiency during pregnancy due to lack of access to healthy foods,
  • Poor quality of air or water in the living environment (pollution),
  • Living in high altitudes in the mountains (thin air).

Many people still believe that cleft is given by god or that it is related to lunar or solar eclipses, or that it is the punishment for some sin or mistake. This is not true. No person can be made responsible for the cleft.