Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

Effects of facial weakness

Drooling: Difficulties swallowing saliva can result in overflow from the corners of the mouth. Improved posture and in some cases medication can assist.

Difficulty smiling: Weakness and sensation problems can affects a person’s ability to smile.

Loose-fitting Dentures: Loss of muscle control and sensation can affect the fit of dentures. It can also affect a person’s ability to put them in. A review by a dentist may be appropriate.

Facial asymmetry: Weakness and sensation difficulties can affect facial symmetry.

Altered body image: Altered perception of one’s own physical appearance can occur.

Food lodges in cheek: Weakness and loss of sensation may result in the person being unable to feel or move food around their mouth easily and can result in some food becoming stuck in their cheek. You can encourage the person to position food on the unaffected side of their mouth and also regularly check their mouth for food residue.

Slurred speech: Also known as ‘dysarthria’. This is a difficulty in communicating due to weakness of the muscles used to speak. Therapy for dysarthria may include exercises to improve lip strength.

Page last reviewed: 17 Jan 2020