Orofacial clefts don’t discriminate—they can afflict children of any race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. While their cause is uncertain, some maternal health conditions, such as diabetes, can increase risk. Poverty and environment may also play a role. This may be why children in Latin America are roughly two times as likely to be born with orofacial clefts as children in the U.S.
But one thing is certain—no child anywhere deserves to live with the physical and social hardships associated with an un-repaired orofacial cleft.
Health and Developmental Impacts — Children with an orofacial cleft often face one or more of these health and developmental problems: feeding problems, speech and language development problems, breathing difficulties, hearing problems, dental problems and frequent ear infections.