Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a muscle relaxant that may be known primarily for eliminating frown lines and wrinkles in the face. However, while Botox may be an ideal aesthetic skin treatment, it also is used for dental purposes and can be an integral part of a comprehensive dental plan to resolve a variety of dental issues.
Use of Botox in Dentistry
Botox was created to address medical issues, such as the involuntary clenching of the jaw and to relieve facial tics. In the majority of cases, dental patients can enjoy three to four months of relief from their dental issue after just one application of the therapy. Botox for dental problems is an effective alternative therapy used to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with:
- Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
- Mandibular spasm
- Facial pain
- Dental implants and surgery
Botox can also be used for cosmetic dental issues. In conjunction with the use of dermal fillers, Botox can help to improve the appearance of your smile by eliminating the laugh lines around the mouth. For people who have a gummy smile, or a smile that exposes a lot of gums, Botox can be used to reshape the gums.
How Exactly Does Botox Work?
Receiving Botox is a process that can be completed in a matter of minutes and with little discomfort to you. Botox blocks the transmitters that run between the motor nerves that move the muscles. The muscles into which the Botox is injected do not lose feeling. However, the interruption of the motor nerves prevents the muscles from contracting. This is what stops the formation of facial wrinkles. For patients with dental concerns, the injected areas that had been overactive or tense due to stress or overuse become relaxed and free of pain.
Why Are Dentists Using Botox to Treat Their Patients?
Dentists view Botox as an ideal treatment because it is a minimally invasive procedure that provides a new way of addressing a range of dental issues that cause their patients pain or detract from the appeal of their smile. It is a product that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, typically cost less than surgical procedures and has a shorter recovery time than any dental surgery. The results it provides is temporary —Botox typically wears off in three to four months—and can be completely reversed; this means that there are no negative effects if the Botox treatment is unsuccessful.
Dentists are uniquely qualified to administer Botox as they have an expert knowledge of the muscle and bone structures of the face, particularly those in the maxillofacial and oral areas, or the area between the chin and forehead. Because they have more advanced training and experience in this area than many other health care professionals, they can provide Botox treatments with the preciseness necessary to eliminate pain in the mouth and improve one’s smile.
Learn more about what Botox can do for your oral wellbeing. If you would like to know how Botox treatments can be used to resolve your general or cosmetic dental issues, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.