From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes
Bell's Palsy Fact Sheet
Bell's palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the two facial nerves. The 7th cranial nerve is a paired structure that travels through a narrow Fallopian canal in the skull, beneath the ear, to the muscles on each side of the face. For most of its journey, the nerve is encased in this bony shell. [...]
Bell's palsy occurs when the nerve that controls the facial muscles is swollen, inflamed, or compressed, resulting in facial weakness or paralysis. Exactly what causes this damage, however, is unknown
Bell's palsy afflicts approximately 40,000 Americans each year. It affects men and women equally and can occur at any age, but it is less common before age 15 or after age 60. It disproportionately attacks [...] people who have diabetes or upper respiratory ailments such as the flu or a cold.
for more information go to http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/b...tail_bells.htm