Normal and cleft palate

Normal palate

Picture of the normal palate

The roof of the mouth is known as the palate. The hard palate is in the front, closer to the teeth. The soft palate is in the back, toward the throat.

Examples of cleft palate

Picture of cleft palate examples

In cleft palate, the roof of the mouth (palate) has an opening (cleft) that may go through to the nasal cavity. This birth defect is corrected with one or more surgeries.

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Last Updated: January 21, 2010

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology

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