Pediatric Congenital Unilateral Lower Lip Palsy (CULLP)

Pediatric Congenital Unilateral Lower Lip Palsy (CULLP)

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Summary

Congenital unilateral lower lip palsy (CULLP) causes one side of a baby’s mouth to remain still when he or she cries.

Expanded overview

Congenital unilateral lower lip palsy (CULLP) is a condition that is present at birth that causes one side of the baby’s face to remain still when he or she cries. When a baby cries, the mouth is pulled downward on only one side of the face while the other half of the mouth does not move. When the baby’s mouth is relaxed, the face appears to be symmetric (even).

CULLP occurs in one out of 160 live births (Source: FacialPalsy). Babies born with CULLP are at an increased risk for developing other conditions, such as those affecting the cardiovascular (heart) system, neck and face, or the urinary system.

Causes

CULLP is typically caused by:

  • Compression of the facial nerve due to birth trauma
  • Problems during fetal development, such as underdevelopment of the muscles of the lips

Symptoms

Symptoms of CULLP include:

  • Both nostrils expand equally when baby breathes (shows that palsy only affects the lower lip)
  • Eyes close normally on both sides of the face (shows that palsy only affects the lower lip)
  • Mouth pulls downward on only one side when baby cries
  • Slight thinning of the lip on the affected side
  • Sucking is normal, with no increased drooling

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