You may think of Botox as something that is only used to treat lines and wrinkles on the face. In reality, this injectable treatment also has a history of use for dental patients. It is an effective treatment for conditions like TMJ disorder, bruxism, lip lines, and more.
What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable liquid containing a botulinum toxin that has been purified in a lab under safe, controlled conditions. The product has applications for treating:
· Migraine headaches
· Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating
· Deep facial lines and skin folds
· TMJ disorder
· Bruxism (teeth grinding)
· Poorly fitting dentures due to shifting jaw muscles
Botox in Dentistry
When dentists receive proper training, they are able to use Botox for patients dealing with:
· High lip line: Better known as a “gummy smile,” a high lip line can be treated by Botox, which relaxes lip muscles to create a more pleasant smile line.
· Poorly fitting dentures: Patients with dentures sometimes find that their lip muscles have shifted, leading to a poor denture fit. Botox can relax these muscles and help dentures fit more comfortably.
· TMJ disorder: Patients suffering from TMJ disorder often have tense jaw muscles, which can be alleviated with Botox injections, offering fast and efficient pain relief.
· Bruxism: Commonly known as “teeth grinding,” bruxism can be minimized by injecting Botox and minimizing muscular contractions. Botox can be used in conjunction with night mouthguards.
Botox has been around for awhile, so naturally, the treatment has accumulated its shares of myths and misconceptions. Here are a few:
Botox Freezes Your Face
Botox, when used properly, is injected into small areas of the face. You will still be able to make facial expressions after receiving treatment. Once injected, Botox remains at the injection site, rather than spreading throughout the face.
Botox Is Toxic
Botox would not have received FDA approval if it was toxic. The product has been used safely for over two decades for a wide variety of conditions. Botox has an excellent track record of safety. For Botox to be toxic, it would need to be 100 times stronger than the average dosage.
Botox Only Removes Wrinkles
Although Botox is quite effective at removing some types of lines and wrinkles, that is not all it is used for. In addition to its dental benefits, Botox can treat back and neck pain, migraines and other conditions.
About Missing Teeth and Facial Aging
When you have missing teeth, your underlying jawbone will eventually begin to deteriorate. This process, called resorption, can cause the facial structure to begin shifting inward, causing a rapid and premature aging effect. Botox injections can help to prevent or partially reverse this unpleasant situation.
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