The Basics of Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy is a health condition that affects the muscles on one side of the face. It causes the weakening or paralysing of the muscles on the part of the face it affects, making the part of the face to become stiff or droop. This condition is usually caused by trauma to the facial nerve also known as or called seventh cranial nerve. Bell’s Palsy can affect anyone; however, individuals recovering from viral infections and those that have diabetes are more susceptible to the health condition. The symptoms of Bell’s Palsy appears like that of stroke; however, this medical condition is not something that should be a problem to anyone, because most of the time the symptoms are often temporary with very few percentage having a permanent trait.
The symptoms of Bell’s Palsy should not be mistaken for a stroke, though it may appear alike, however, in the case of stroke, which causes weakness of muscles on the face may also cause muscle weakness in other parts of the body. The primary cause of the condition has been believed by doctors to be due to damage to the facial nerve that causes swelling. The facial nerve moves round the skull through a tiny bony area, when the nerve gets swollen, it affects the skull because it pushes hard against it and causes the nerve to malfunction and leads to the restructuring of the face. Another notable culprit is viral infections, which have been tipped to be one of the leading causes of Bell’s Palsy. The herpes simplex 1 virus, a virus that causes cold sores has been noted to be responsible for the infection.
Bell’s Palsy is a medical condition that its symptoms come out suddenly. It can happen overnight, you may be all right the night before going to bed, but will wake up with the symptoms of the disorder. However, before the actual sign may surface, some individuals may experience pain in the back of their ear two days before, while some people may hear sound louder than normal some days before they experience the main symptom of the infection. The usual symptoms include drooling, twitch of the facial muscles, inability to blink or close the eyelid, pain or numbness behind the ear. Others include decreased sense of taste, lesser or more eye water, difficulty chewing.
The typical recovery period of Bell’s Palsy in some individuals is just a couple of weeks, the symptoms, drooling and weakness of the facial muscles get to their peak within two days. Some people who develop the condition may take up to three months to completely recover from the condition while some other will require a longer time before they recover fully from the infection, while in few scenarios the deformation may remain permanent. Diagnosing Bell’s Palsy is not easy as there is no proven method of testing for it, in most cases, your doctor will only determine if you have the infection after ruling out other conditions.
Since there are no definite ways of testing for the Bell’s Palsy, there aren’t any medications to stop it yet. However, if a condition is caused by the herpes virus of by shingles, antiviral drugs may be administered, though there is no research backup to the potency of the medication.
It’s never too late, before addressing any issue related to your smile, gums, teeth, and other oral or in general health issues, consult with Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai. A dental prophylaxis or cleaning as previously mentioned including our check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities or minor problem before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.
Remember the best advice from your Dentist “Unaddressed issues will never get resolved by themselves”.
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