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The seventh cranial nerve enters the facial region through a small opening in the bony area behind the ear called the stylomastoid foramen.
From the stylomastoid foramen, the nerve enters the parotid gland and divides into an estimated 7,000 nerve fibers that control a wide range of facial and neck activity.
In Bell's palsy, this process typically occurs after the seventh cranial nerve's passage through the stylomastoid foramen into a tiny bony tube called the fallopian canal.