During the next 2 weeks, the appearance of the face changes considerably. The maxillary swellings continue to grow in a medial direction and compress the medial nasal swellings toward the midline. Subsequently these swellings simultaneously merge with each other and with the maxillary swellings laterally. Hence the upper lip is formed by the two medial nasal swellings and the two maxillary swellings.
The two medial swellings merge not only at the surface but also at the deeper level. The structures formed by the two merged swellings are known together as the intermaxillary segament which is comprised of three components:
Two shelflike outgrowths from the maxillary .swellings form the secondary palate. These palatine shelves appear in the sixth week of development and are directed obliquely downward on either side of the tongue. In the seventh week, however, the palatine shelves ascend to attain a horizontal position above the tongue and fuse with each other, thereby forming the secondary palate. Anteriorly the shelves fuse with the triangular primary palate, and the incisive foramen is formed at this junction.
Clefts of the secondary palate are caused by a failure of the palatine shelves to fuse with one another. The causes for this are Speculative and include failure of the tongue to descend into the oral cavity.
Cleft lip/palate and isolated cleft palate have a genetic predisposition and environmental component
Studies have been able to implicate genetics in only 20% to 30% of cleft lip or palate patients
The majority of nonsyndromic clefts appear to be caused by an interaction between the individual's genes (i.e., genetic predisposition) and certain factors In the environment that may or may not be specifically identified
speech and language delay Due to the opening of the roof of the mouth and the lip, muscle function may be decreased, which can lead to a delay in speech or abnormal speech. ( hypernasal speech) due to Velopharyngeal incompetence.
dental problems As a result of the abnormalities, teeth may not erupt normally and orthodontic treatment is usually required