Does Chewing Gum Help Bell’s Palsy & What About Ice & Heat?

Treatments and myths increase the patient’s anxiety and may result in long-lasting disability. Although it is a myth that the doctor advises chewing gum yet the reality is chewing can increase facial synkinesis.1

Chewing gum though not an effective solution for Bell’s palsy however it is perhaps a lot of exercise for your mouth.2

The ice should help reduce the inflammation surrounding the facial nerve and may help relieve pain.3

Bell’s palsy is an unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness that temporarily paralyzes the side of your face. The condition interrupts the functionality of facial nerves (responsible for transmitting signals to the brain that includes facial expression and taste sensation)

Although there’s little logical evidence to support the use of alternative medicine, there are some myths and beliefs that can help with the treatment of Bell’s palsy.

Does Chewing Gum Help Bell’s Palsy?

In several under-developed nations, the majority of people living in rural areas do not have proper access to good medical facilities. Hence, they do not seek immediate medical attention when they show symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Instead, they work on myths and misconceptions for the management of their symptoms.

Treatments and myths increase the patient’s anxiety and may result in long-lasting disability. Also, it is a mere waste of money and time. Although it is a myth that the doctor advises chewing gum for the patients, yet the reality is chewing can increase facial synkinesis. Chewing is typically done by the mastication muscles which enhances the synkinesis.1

Chewing gum though not an effective solution for Bell’s palsy however it is perhaps a lot of exercise for your mouth. There are a few things that you must do when you are identified with this condition. This includes

  • Start a steroid process within 72 hours of diagnoses
  • Certain cases of Bell’s palsy caused by a viral infection, during such instances begin with an antiviral regimen
  • Most cases of this condition resolve with rest
  • Protect your eye
  • Seek support (that includes family, friends, and doctors).2

Does Ice Or Heat Help With Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s palsy patients often wonder if the condition can be prevented or avoided. When symptoms begin, contact your doctor immediately so recovery is faster with the immediate treatment. With appropriate therapy, you have full chances of recovery within 1 to two months. Your doctor may prescribe a course of steroid medicine or anti-viral medicine depending on the symptoms.

At the same time, you can take care of yourself at home that can help your recovery faster. Maintaining a healthy diet with sufficient rest provide effective results. The ice should help reduce the inflammation surrounding the facial nerve and may help relieve pain. Applying low heat or heating pad for pain and swelling. Most heat pads can be brought in the drug stores and help relieve pain, relax muscles, and reduce discomforts associated with Bell’s palsy.

You can also add essential oil such as lavender, rose, or chamomile to the warm cloth and use it as a compressor whenever you have pain. Gentle massage around the painful areas can make you feel better. However, when your pain doesn’t improve and becomes severe, talk to your doctor.3

Bell’s palsy is a painful condition and your recovery depends on the location and damage of the facial nerve. Severe cases may take a long time to recover with few lasting effects.

References:

  1. says: Suzanne, et al. “My Battle with Bell’s Palsy Part 5: 13 Tips and Takeaways for the Newly Diagnosed.” Holley Grainger, 6 May 2020, www.holleygrainger.com/my-battle-with-bells-palsy-tips-and-takeaways-for-newly-diagnosed/.
  2. Mansoor, Sahibzada Nasir, and Farooq Azam Rathore. “Myths and Misconceptions Regarding Facial Nerve Palsy Management: Interesting Perspectives from a Developing Country.” Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4481818/.
  3. Clarke, David. “Rehabilitation Advice for Bell’s Palsy Facial Weakness.” Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinics | The Physio Company, Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinics | The Physio Company, 5 Mar. 2013, www.thephysiocompany.com/blog/rehabilitation-advice-for-bells-palsy-facial-weakness.

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