Facial palsy can make it more difficult to brush your teeth on the affected side and food may accumulate in your cheek when eating without you being aware. A combination of food residue after meals and less efficient oral hygiene may increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to clean your teeth or rinse your mouth after eating to make sure there is no food residue left in your mouth which could cause decay.
In addition some causes of facial palsy may be associated with a reduced saliva production which can lead to a dry mouth. One important function of saliva is to protect the teeth so when less saliva is produced your teeth will become more vulnerable to decay. It is therefore important to visit your dentist more regularly to help prevent unnecessary damage to your teeth and gums.
Facial palsy can have an impact on how well dentures fit for those of you who have false teeth. This is because normal cheek tone helps keep the denture in position. If the cheek is floppy, then dentures may not fit as securely as before. Visit your dentist for advice and help with any of these issues.
Occasionally, when a specific branch of the facial nerve (the chorda tympani) is affected, this can result in altered taste perception.
If you have experienced a sudden facial paralysis and have painful mouth ulcers and/or blistering of the tongue, your doctor should consider tests for Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
Last reviewed: 27-11-2018 || Next review due: 27-11-2020