Can bells palsy be related to tooth infection? What's going on here?


Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
2
Hi Everyone,

Looking to just get some opinions and advice, I feel a little dismissed by doctors so far. I've had quite the month with 2 visits to the primary care doctor, 3 to the dentist, and 3 to the endodontist.

I wanted know if anyone has ever came across Bells palsy being related to a tooth infection, or vice versa?

My initial physician said it was "completely unrelated" however I am just having difficulty accepting the timing of it, almost simultaneous, Friday night severe tooth pain, Saturday vomiting, Sunday facial paralysis.
How can this be COMPLETELY UNRELATED?

Below is a chronological account of what happened, have you ever came across a patient like this?

Approx Oct 7th - Notice metallic/foul taste in mouth
Approx Oct 21st- Loss of taste
Nov 1st - Right tooth/jaw pain - severe woke me up from sleep
Nov 2nd - 600 mg Tylenol, vomited 3 times that day
Nov 3rd - Onset of Bells Palsy (unable to close right eye, unable to raise lip/mouth to smile on right side,speech slightly slurred, unable to brings lips to touch, facial/right cheek swelling)
Nov 5th - Visit to primary care MD, diagnosis of Bells Palsy. Prescribed prednisone, amoxicillin, valtrex
Nov 5th- Visit to DDS, diagnosis of 2 cavities lower right, 2 cavities lower left side
Nov 7th - Seen at DDS for deep cleaning on right side (DDS decided not to fill cavities, as not to avoid potentially aggravate cranial nerve, told to wait for Bells Palsy to subside). Did cold test due to tooth pain still present, very painful on #30, referred to Endodontist
Nov 11th - Endodontist visit, unable to diagnosis, told to wait for bells palsy to subside and come back for CT scan
Nov 12th - Back to DDS to have deep cleaning on left side and cavities filled on right side
Nov 15th- Course of amoxicillin completed
Nov 16th- Notice swelling in jaw and neck
Nov 19th - Bells palsy symptoms subside, regain movement in mouth/lips, eye strength about 80% back to normal
Nov 20th - Follow up visit to primary MD, asked about swelling and pain in neck/jaw/tooth, told no more antibiotics were not needed, referred back to dentist was told issue was out of scope practice
Nov 22nd - Notice lump on right of neck near jaw, very painful. Sore throat, hurts to swallow
Nov 25th - Dental CT, 1st visit of root canal
Dec 2nd - root canal follow up, prescribed Augmenten as lump is still present and painful to touch on right side/jaw unsure if lymph node or not, hard to touch.

So I am wondering if I should go back to the primary care MD or wait until i've completed the anti biotics and see if that works?

Is it possible the tooth infection spread to my neck?

Is it possible the tooth infection triggered the Bells palsy? I know the etiology is unclear of that disorder.

Can I request a copy of my dental CT? Would that be able to tell if there is a serious infection?

I am just concerned that an infection has spread or there is something else entirely going on or am I just being paranoid?

Sorry this is so long, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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honestdoc

Verified Dentist
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Could you provide some x-rays of your teeth? I agree with your physician. Bell's Palsy if properly diagnosed involves the dysfunction of the cranial #7 Facial nerve. Teeth related problems are not capable of penetrating into the Facial nerve network. I believe your physician has done a proper job managing Bell's Palsy. I'm not sure about your dental conditions. It is most likely a coincidence.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
2
Could you provide some x-rays of your teeth? I agree with your physician. Bell's Palsy if properly diagnosed involves the dysfunction of the cranial #7 Facial nerve. Teeth related problems are not capable of penetrating into the Facial nerve network. I believe your physician has done a proper job managing Bell's Palsy. I'm not sure about your dental conditions. It is most likely a coincidence.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply! Yes I can get x-rays, I’ve had three sets done, both at dentist, again at endodontist, and then paid out of pocket for the dental cone beam ct

It just seems so coincidental to me, almost to much so. Pain in right tooth and jaw, then 48 hours later paralysis on right side of face, then after completing antibiotics for 10 days, I developed neck in lump in neck/swallow neck, but only on the right side. Swollen lymph nodes on right side.

I agree the physician has done a good job managing the Bell’s palsy, especially since I have regained facial movement at nearly 100%

I guess I’m more concerned with the cause rather that just treating the symptoms.

Hard to accept that severe pain felt in my tooth which turned out to be a diagnosis of cavities and need for root canal on #30, which had not been causing any tooth or pain or discomfort prior, just happened to occur Friday and then the onset of Bell’s palsy Sunday, but it’s completely unrelated??

Oy vey! I have some bad luck!

I tried to look into the dental and medical literature and see if there were peer reviewed articles or resources related to tooth infection and Bell’s palsy, take a look at the links if you’re interested, again I appreciate your response!!





 
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honestdoc

Verified Dentist
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
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Solutions
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I have a theory that may not be backed up by science. About 75 to 80% of the population have some form of oral herpetic virus such as cold sores and or chicken pox. These viruses situate in nerve tissue for life and like to break out during stressful events. Without your dental x-rays, I can only guess that you have a legitimate tooth pain that triggered the stress which in turn opened the door for these viruses to break out. Some how these viruses found your affected facial nerves and "went to town." The physician prescribed you Valtrex which targeted these viruses and helped resolve your symptoms.
 

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