Orofacial clefts are the most common congenital malformations of the face in the world. In France, 1 in 700 children is born with an orofacial cleft . This number is about the same in all European countries. In the United States, 1 child in 600 has a cleft, and in Asia, the odds are even greater, 1 child in 300 is concerned.

The distribution according to the type of cleft remains fixed for years:

  • 25% cleft lip
  • 50% orofacial
  • 25% cleft palate

The different epidemiologies:

  1. Cleft lip
  2. Orofacial
  3. Cleft palate
Fente labiale - Bec de Lièvre | Fentes Labio Palatines

Cleft lips

Fente palatine chirurgie pour les bébés | Fentes Labio Palatines

Orofacial clefts

Fentes Palatines - Chirurgie pour bébé | Fentes Labio Palatines

Cleft palates

The origin of these clefts

The origin of these clefts remain unknown, we do know the mechanism of non-fusion that leads to their formation (see embryology chapter), but we do not know the origin of this non-fusion of buds. The genetic, toxic, medicinal and food tracks are explored but we have no serious proof of their involvement to date.


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