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What causes cleft lip and palate?

The exact causes of cleft lip and palate are unknown. In some cases it is hereditary, with parents who had a cleft lip or palate carrying a small chance of passing it onto their child, but most cases appear spontaneously. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol have been implicated as potential contributors, but the evidence is unclear. A deficiency in folic acid during pregnancy may also contribute to cleft lip and palate. Certain drugs, including some used to treat epilepsy, have also been implicated.

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Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 12 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 1058 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Pectus excavatum

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