The presentation of craniofacial clefts has a wide variety, ranging from mild to very severe. It is marked by underdeveloped parts of the face, matching to the areas of fusion during embryogenesis, in which several types of tissue (bone, cartilage, teeth, tear duct, muscle, and/or skin) are hypoplastic or missing. In addition, encephaloceles can be part of the disorder.
The affected parts usually don't have a normal growth, and this may cause a worsening of asymmetry of the face and the need for repeated surgical correcting over the years.
The affected area is situated in the midline of the face, either frontal, frontonasal, nasal or, very rarely, mandibular region. For some of these disorders, a genetic cause can be found.
The affected area is situated in the lateral parts of the face, either fronto-orbital, orbitonasomaxillar, or nasomaxillar. A combination of various clefts can also be encountered. In general, there is no genetic cause found.