Facial Reanimation Program
The Facial Nerve
The facial nerve exits the skull behind the ear and penetrates the parotid gland within the cheek. There, it splits into multiple branches that control a specific set of facial muscles. The activity of the nerve controls facial expressions such as smiling, blinking and frowning.
Facial Nerve Palsy
Facial nerve palsy can be congenital or acquired.
Congenital facial nerve palsy is present at birth. It can be associated with other conditions, such as Moebius syndrome, or it can be an isolated condition.
When due to Moebius syndrome, it usually affects both sides of the face. When an isolated condition, it usually affects only one side of the face. The cause of isolated congenital nerve palsy is not known.
- Acquired facial nerve palsy develops because of trauma, inflammation or infection or after removal of tumors in the head and neck.
Lack of facial expression or facial muscle tone can cause a variety of functional and social problems:
- Most commonly, it affects the eye and the mouth.
- If the eyelid cannot close, the eye is more prone to injury such as corneal abrasions or scratches.
- Sucking and chewing can be difficult and drooling may occur.
- The child may not be able to smile on one side, and this can cause significant psychological distress.