Volume 9 • 2022 • Issue 6

The following is based on an Applied Research article originally published on JCDA.ca—CDA’s online, open access scholarly publication that features articles indexed in Medline, Journal Citation Reports and Science Citation Index. This article has been condensed and edited. The full article, with a complete reference list, is available at: jcda.ca/m8 Bell’s Palsy and the Dental Practice Aviv Ouanounou, MSc, DDS, FICO Arsalan Danesh, DDS Introduction Idiopathic facial nerve paralysis, commonly known as Bell’s Palsy (BP), is a cranial nerve VII condition leading to facial weakness (paresis) or paralysis. It is accurately described as an acute unilateral facial nerve paralysis or paresis without an identifiable cause occurring in less than 72 hours. Signs and symptoms of BP include ipsilateral drooping of the eyelid, dry eye, excessive tearing, drooping of the corner of the mouth, post-auricular pain, loss of taste sensation in the anterior two-thirds of the tongue, difficulty eating, dry mouth, saliva slavering, mild/moderate pain in or behind the ear, altered sensation, and hyperacusis. The most common sign of BP is the Bell’s phenomenon, characterized by upward rolling of the eye when closing of the eyelid is attempted. Figure 1 describes the most common clinical signs of BP. Short-term consequences of BP include the inability to close the eye and eventual dryness, which can be managed clinically with a favourable prognosis. Long term, incomplete recovery from BP can result in facial asymmetry, disfigurement, reduced facial movement, and many other complications that greatly reduce the patients’ quality of life (QoL). This article aims to discuss the current evidence related to the etiology, diagnosis, treatment and implications for dentistry of BP. Bell’s Palsy 32 | 2022 | Issue 6