Botox® has been used for cosmetic procedures for decades, but increasingly dentists are administering Botox injections to treat a range of dental issues. If you have facial pain due to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), clench or grind your teeth (bruxism), Botox might be the right treatment option for you.
Botox is a purified protein derived from the botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. Botox is injected into a patient’s skin or muscles, causing the muscles to relax.
Plastic surgeons have traditionally used Botox to relax facial muscles that cause wrinkles, rejuvenating a patient’s appearance by reducing signs of aging. Doctors also administer Botox to treat medical conditions such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), chronic migraines, an overactive bladder, and a lazy eye.
Botox treatments usually last 3-6 months, depending on the rate of metabolism, and effects of Botox are usually seen within 2 weeks of injection.
Botox works differently than dermal fillers (sometimes called soft tissue fillers), which are substances designed to be injected beneath the surface of the skin to add volume and fullness.
The benefits of Botox are now being applied to dentistry to help patients with jaw pain, spasms, and esthetic lip issues and to avoid damage to the teeth and gums.
Dentists use Botox to treat patients with dental issues such as:
The side effects of Botox treatment are mild, and they go away within a few hours or days after treatment. A potential side effect of Botox can include:
Botox was approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989. More than 30 years later, over five million Botox procedures are performed in the U.S. every year. Botox is a safe, effective way to treat conditions that can undermine self-confidence, cause major discomfort, and lead to long-term complications with your oral health. For certain disorders, it’s the only effective treatment available.
In addition to treating existing dental conditions, Botox can be used to relax chronically tight jaw muscles in patients to prevent the onset of TMJ disorders or bruxism, avoiding damage to teeth and gums. Your dentist can also apply Botox to correct lip deformities and reduce nasolabial folds and marionette lines around the mouth.
Despite Botox’s prevalence, there are still several misconceptions surrounding this popular treatment. Common myths include:
If you suffer from a dental condition that could be helped by Botox treatment — or if you simply wish to rejuvenate your appearance — contact our dental office today to book a consultation.