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Cleft Detectives: The curious case of the occult submucous cleft

An occult submucosal cleft palate can be difficult to diagnose without palatal imaging, but perceptual speech assessment can help.

September 15, 2020

Did you know that SLPs are frequently the first providers to discover a submucous cleft? That’s because we know what we are looking and listening for! We know that the classic features of a SMC are often a combination of a bifid uvula, zona pellucida, and/or notching in the posterior hard palate, which can result in an inverted “V” shape due to the anterior attachment of the levator veli palatini muscle. We notice these signs because we are the oral exam gurus (and if you don’t feel like a guru yet, check out the pictures on this website to see what you’re looking for.)


But what about an occult submucous cleft palate? This means that we can’t…

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