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  • Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII causing an inability to control facial muscles on the affected side. Often the eye in the affected side cannot be closed. The eye must be protected from drying up, or the cornea may be permanently damaged resulting in impaired vision. In some cases denture wearers experience some discomfort. The common presentation of this condition is a rapid onset of partial or complete paralysis that often occurs overnight. In rare cases, it can occur on both sides resulting in total facial paralysis. Bell's palsy is defined as a one sided facial nerve paralysis of unknown cause. Several other conditions can also cause facial paralysis, e.g., brain tumor, stroke, myasthenia gravis, and Lyme disease; however, if no specific cause can be identified, the condition is known as Bell's palsy. It is thought that an inflammatory condition leads to swelling of the facial nerve. The nerve travels through the skull in a narrow bone canal beneath the ear. Nerve swelling and compression in the narrow bone canal are thought to lead to nerve inhibition, damage or death.

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