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A 25-year-old female asked:

Can bruxism, clenching and or tmj disfunction cause facial nerve palsy? no drooping eye or mouth, just left cheek sits slightly lower when smiling?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Duane Keller
47 years experience
Possible, but...: A nerve disorder can have multiple causes. It is possible that a structural, vascular or neurological problem can be related, but you will need to see your dentist or someone who treats these type of disorders to get a careful evaluation first to determine the causes of the problems. Then you can address the causes with diagnostic treatments. Good luck.
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Dr. Sal Aragona
Dentistry 43 years experience
Yes: Some joint displacement (clicking) and pterygoid hypertrophy (jaw tightness) are usually the result of chronic nocturnal (nighttime) clenching. These nighttime events create tremendous muscle force and activity that can be at play. Find a dentist trained in diagnosing and treating orofacial problems.
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Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dentistry 47 years experience
Trigeminal Neuralgia: Your symptoms may be a neurological ailment called trigeminal neuralgia. Not a very well understood problem and should see your doctor, who may then possibly refer to a neurologist. There can be a TMJ relation, but tn, associated with bell's palsy, can create symptoms that mimic tmj/tmd.
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Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial 47 years experience
No: No chance of facial nerve palsy (paralysis) with TMD or bruxism. You may just have an inherent facial asymmetry. See a TMJ expert to be sure. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals.
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Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 38 years experience
See a Neurologist: Facial Palsy is a palsy of the Facial nerve (VII), TMJ is Trigeminal nerve (V). It is important to make an accurate diagnosis to ensure that the correct treatment is given. See a neurologist or OFP specialist for consultation.
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Last updated Aug 2, 2015

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