2 Celebrities With Cleft Lip

In today's article, you'll learn what cleft lip is and why this condition occurs. We'll also tell you about some famous celebrities with cleft lip.
2 Celebrities With Cleft Lip

Last update: 07 September, 2021

You’ve probably heard of cleft lip and, if you’re pregnant, it may be one of the issues that worries you regarding your baby’s development. This congenital defect is one of the most frequent malformations in existence, which has led to it being studied more and more in-depth.

The sequelae that may arise from this condition as well as the ease of treatment both depend on the degree. However, it’s possible to overcome cleft lip, and those who are born with it can come to live a normal life. As an example of this, we’ll tell you about some famous people who’ve suffered from it. But first, let’s look at what this condition consists of.

What is cleft lip?

Cleft lip is a congenital defect that consists of a cleft or separation in the upper lip. Its cause is the incomplete fusion of the maxillary and nanomedical processes of the embryo and it’s one of the most common birth defects.

Both cleft lip and cleft palate occur in the early stages of embryonic development when the lumps that will make up the lips, nose, and palate are just beginning to fuse.

A baby with cleft lip and cleft palate.

At the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, this fusion’s complete. However, if it doesn’t occur, the baby will be born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or both.

Worldwide data show that these facial clefts occur in 1 out of every 700 births. Therefore, it’s one of the most common congenital anomalies.

Causes of cleft lip

There’s been a great deal of research on this subject and, thanks to the knowledge of the human genome, experts have been able to conclude that there are certain aspects that could favor this malformation. Experts say that environmental factors during pregnancy, such as poorly prescribed medications or exposure to certain toxins, and family genetics are determinants.

Tobacco consumption and a poor diet increase the chances of the palate not developing correctly. There’s also talk that folic acid before and during pregnancy can be very effective in preventing it.

Possible difficulties for children with cleft lip

Being born with a cleft lip or cleft palate can cause numerous problems beyond the aesthetic aspect. In fact, it can affect basic functions such as eating and speaking. Generally, these children need to undergo numerous surgeries from an early age. Some of the main complications are the following:

  • Feeding difficulties: Problems sucking breast milk.
  • Hearing loss: This occurs because ear infections are very frequent. There’s a dysfunction of the tube that connects the middle ear and the throat.
  • Speech and language delays: Due to the condition of the lip and throat, there may be speech difficulties.

Celebrities with cleft lip

Fortunately, the outlook’s increasingly encouraging and advances in the medical field mean that these children can have a good quality of life.

For inspiration, we’ve looked into some famous people who were born with cleft lip. Not only have they managed to overcome it but they’ve also achieved their dreams.

Peyton Manning

This American soccer player is an icon of achievement. He became the only quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl with two different teams and his records are impressive. Nothing, not even being born with a cleft lip, prevented him from achieving his goals.

Throughout his life, he had several surgeries to close the gap in the roof of his mouth and to make sure it wouldn’t reopen when he grew up. He also needed a bone graft and hundreds of visits to the dentist. But the problem wasn’t just physical, as his appearance caused him to withdraw from the other kids.

When he got to play for the NFL, Manning founded the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. This pediatric hospital includes the Craniofacial Center, which provides diagnosis, treatment, and support to children suffering from disorders or deformities of the head and face.

A baby born with a cleft lip who's undergone surgery to correct it.

Carmit Bachar

You may remember her as one of the members of The Pussycat Dolls. Few know that this attractive singer and dancer was born with a cleft lip.

She grew up in a family of artists, but given her condition, they thought she would never be able to sing. She then decided to devote herself to rhythmic gymnastics, achieving fifth place in the 1992 U.S. Olympic qualifications.

As if that were not enough, she studied piano, violin, acting, and singing. In addition to being one of the members of this famous musical group, she also participated in music videos for The Offspring, No Doubt, and Beyoncé, etc.

Carmit has founded a non-profit organization called Smile With Me, which helps children who, like her, are born with this congenital malformation.

Some unconfirmed rumors about celebrities with a cleft lip

There are rumors about several celebrities who may have also this condition. However, this information has never been confirmed by them and, in fact, there are several theories regarding their scars.

One of them is actor Joaquin Phoenix. Surely you’ve seen his striking scar that runs from his lip to his nose. It’s so characteristic, that many claim that he had a cleft lip. However, in an interview, he’s denied it saying that, during pregnancy, his mother felt severe pain and believes that this was the reason for this gap.

The same happens with the actor of The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen, and with the French actress based in Mexico, Angelique Boyer. But the truth is that neither of them has confirmed these rumors.

As you can see, being born with a cleft lip is a problem, and the road to normal life is a long one. However, on many occasions, it’s possible to overcome this stigma and have a full development.

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