Bells Palsy and Oral Health

Bells palsy is a condition in which the facial muscles become paralyzed and weak. With this condition, the cranial nerve VII is affected and does not function properly. The individual suffering from Bells palsy is unable to control the muscles in the portion of the face which is affected. The condition is named after the Scottish surgeon, Sir Charles Bell.

The facial expressions are controlled by the cranial nerve VII. Moreover, taste is also conveyed from the tongue and the oral cavity by the facial nerve. Facial functions such as blinking, closing the eyes, frowning, smiling, raising eyebrows, etc are all done with the muscles controlled by the facial nerve and when these are paralyzed, none of these expressions and movements are possible.

Bells palsy is caused by viral infections, these viruses include the varicella-zoster virus, the Epstein – Barr virus and the herpes simplex virus.

Usually, treatment for Bells palsy is not required because in normal circumstances the individual suffering from the condition recovers within a couple of months. If the condition becomes more severe, only then would treatment be initiated. Steroids and antiviral drugs are prescribed by physicians. In some cases, smile surgery may also be required. Physiotherapy is another treatment measure which is very beneficial. It triggers and stimulates the circulation in the affected muscles and tissues.