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Glossary

A-Z of Terms

You will hear and read many unfamiliar words. This glossary helps to explain some of them.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Alveolar Bone Graft/Grafting

An operation required in some children with a cleft affecting their gum in order to help in the development of normal teeth alignment. It is performed at between 8-10 years of age with bone graft being taken, usually from the hip, and introduced into the gum

Alveolar Ridge

The bony ridge of the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible), which hold the teeth.

Articulation

The process of forming speech sounds.

Articulation Test

An evaluation which provides information about how speech sounds are formed.

Audiogram

A standard graph used to record hearing levels or sensitivity.

Audiologist

A person with a degree, license, and certification in audiology(science of hearing) who measures hearing, identifies hearing loss, and participates in rehabilitation of hearing impairment.

B

There are no terms available.

C

Cleft

Cleft means 'split' or 'separation'. During early pregnancy, separate areas of the face develop individually and then join together. If some parts do not join properly the result is a cleft, the type and severity of which can vary.

Cleft Clinical Nurse Specialist

A registered nurse with advanced knowledge in the diagnosis, management and assessment of children born with a cleft.

Cleft Lip

A cleft lip is a condition that creates an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and the nose which looks as though there is a split in the lip. A cleft in the gum may occur in association with a cleft lip.

Cleft Palate

A cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth has not joined completely. A cleft palate can range from just an opening at the back of the soft palate to nearly complete separation of the roof of the mouth.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

See Cleft Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist uses the application of psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychologically based distress and to promote well-being and personal development.

Columella

The central, lower portion of the nose, which divides the nostrils.

Combined Cleft Clinic

A Clinic in which all members of the Cleft Team are present.

Communication Disorder

An interference with a person's ability to comprehend others

Comprehension

Knowledge or understanding of spoken or written language.

Congenital

A disease, deformity, or deficiency existing at the time of birth.

Consultant Orthodontist

A consultant who specialises in the growth and development of the face and jaws and the treatment of irregularities of the teeth by means of various orthodontic appliances.

Consultant Paediatrician

A consultant specialising in treatment of children.

Crossbite

A dental condition where the upper teeth are behind the lower teeth rather than in front of them. It can also apply to the back teeth, laterally.

D

Dental Arch

The curved structure formed by the teeth in their normal position.

E

Eardrum (Tympanic Membrane)

This vibrates and transmits sound to the middle ear.

ENT

The abbreviation for ear, nose and throat.

ENT Specialist/Surgeon

A surgeon specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of the ear, nose and larynx and in treatment of problems diagnosed.

Eustachian Tube

The air duct, which connects the back of the throat (the nasopharynx) with the middle ear. This tube is usually closed at one end becoming opened during yawning and swallowing. It allows ventilation of the middle ear and permits the equalisation of pressure on two sides of the eardrum.

F

Fistula

An opening between two spaces, which in the case of cleft lip and palate, is a hole in the hard palate causing an abnormal opening between the mouth and the nose cavities.

G

Genetics

The science of heredity.

Geneticist

A geneticist studies genetics, the science of heredity and variation of organisms. This can include undertaking of tests and analysing data to interpret the inheritance of traits.

Glue Ear

An excess of fluid in the middle ear, resulting from impaired drainage via the Eustachian tube and which results in hearing impairment.

Grommets

Tiny plastic tubes inserted into the eardrums to allow ventilation of the middle ears and prevent the abnormal accumulation of fluid.

H

Hearing Impairment

A loss in hearing which may range from mild loss to complete loss, and which may be temporary or permanent.

Heredity

The total of the physical characteristics, abilities and potentialities genetically derived from one's ancestors.

Hypernasality

Greater than normal nasal resonance or vocal tone heard during speech.

I

There are no terms available.

J

There are no terms available.

K

There are no terms available.

L

Language Disorder

Inability to communicate normally and effectively due to problems with comprehension or expression of language.

M

Malocclusion

A deviation from normal occlusion (bite) or incorrect positioning of the upper teeth in relation to the upper teeth.

Mandible

The lower jaw.

Maxilla

The upper jaw.

Maxillofacial Surgery

The surgical speciality concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck.

Medical Photographer

Clinically trained specialist photographer, generally working in the Hospital environment.

Middle Ear

The portion of the ear behind the eardrum. It contains three small bones, which transfer sound from the eardrum to the inner ear.

Myringotomy

A surgical procedure in which a small slit is made in the eardrum to allow fluid to drain from the middle ear.

N

Nasal Emission

An abnormal flow of air through the nose during speech. Usually indicative of an incomplete seal between the oral and the nasal cavities.

Nasal Escape

The loss of air down the nose during speech.

Nasendoscopy

A procedure in which a small telescope is passed through the nose to assess the movements of the soft palate during speech.

O

Occlusion

Relationship between the upper and the lower teeth when they are in contact. It refers to the alignment of the teeth as well as the relationship of the dental arches.

Oral Cavity

The roof of the mouth from the teeth in the front to the soft palate at the back.

Orofacial

Relating to the mouth and face.

Orthodontic Plate

An orthodontic plate is an acrylic plate which may be used to begin to apply pressure to close and align the cleft prior to surgery.

Orthodontics

The speciality of dentistry concerned with the correction and prevention of irregularities and malocclusion of the teeth and jaws.

Orthodontist

A clinician who specialises in the growth and development of the face and jaws and the treatment of irregularities of the teeth by means of various orthodontic appliances.

Osteotomy

Surgical cut made in bone. Occasionally required on the maxilla (the upper jaw), in patients with cleft lip and palate at the age of about 16, when seeking to improve the alignment of the teeth and to improve the facial profile.

Otitis Media

Inflammation of the middle ear with accumulation of thick, mucous fluid.

P

Paediatric Dentistry

The speciality of dentistry concerned with the care of children's teeth.

Paediatrician

A physician specialising in treatment of children.

Palatal Insufficiency

A lack or shortness of tissue preventing the soft palate from contacting the back of the throat (pharynx).

Palate

The roof of the mouth including the front portion (or hard palate), and the posterior part (the soft palate, or velum).

Pharyngeal Flap or Pharyngoplsty

A surgical procedure in which a flap of the lining of the throat is used to close most of he opening between the soft palate and the nasopharynx.

Philtral Column or Ridge

The ridge in the upper lip running from the nostril down to the lip margin.

Plastic Surgery

The surgical speciality dealing with the restoration and repair of various external defects.

Plastic Surgeon

A surgeon who deals with the reconstruction of parts of the body.

Premaxilla

The small bone in the upper jaw, which contains the upper four teeth. It connects with the lateral segments of the upper jaw or maxilla.

Pre-Surgical Orthopaedics

Term used to describe a variety of orthodontic plates and tapes which can be used prior to the surgical repair of the cleft to improve the alignment of the segments of the cleft (either palatal or lip).

Prosthesis

An artificial substitute for a missing body part.

Prosthetic Speech Aid

A removable acrylic appliance, which provides a structural means of achieving velopharyngeal closure, thereby aiding speech.

Prosthodontist

A dentist who specialises in providing prosthetic appliances for the mouth.

Psychologist

See Clinical Psychologist.

Q

There are no terms available.

R

Resonance

Vocal quality associated with the vibration of air in the oral and nasal cavities.

S

Soft Palate

The mobile soft tissue attached to the back of the hard part of the palate, crucial to swallowing and speech. It contains muscles whose function results in the closure of the mouth cavity from the nose cavity.

SLT

Speech and language therapy, or speech and language therapist

Speech & Language Therapist

An individual with the necessary academic training and experience to be certified or licensed to diagnose and treat disorders of speech, language and communication.

Speech Defects

Deviation of speech from the range of normal.

Submucous Cleft Palate

This is when the palate appears to be structurally intact but there are muscular abnormalities underlying the skin surface.

T

Tympanic Membeane (Eardrum)

This vibrates and transmits sound to the middle ear.

U

Uvula

The small piece of soft tissue that can be seen dangling down from the soft palate over the back of the tongue.

V

Velopharyngeal Closure

The closing of the nasal cavity from the oral cavity, which directs air used in speech through the mouth rather than the nose. It requires interaction of the muscles in the palate and back of the throat.

Velopharyngeal Incompetence

Inability to achieve adequate velopharyngeal closure despite structures that may appear normal.

Velophayngeal Insufficiency

A structural or functional disorder resulting in the inability to achieve adequate separation of the nasal and oral cavities.

Velum

The soft palate.

Videofluoroscopy

An investigation using X-Rays to assess the movements of the soft palate during speech usually performed at between 5-10 years of age.

W

There are no terms available.

X

There are no terms available.

Y

There are no terms available.

Z

There are no terms available.