Botox has earned its reputation as the go-to wrinkle treatment, but the medication is actually much more versatile than simply smoothing out facial lines. Long before its cosmetic use, doctors had known about at least a few of the medical benefits Botox could provide. Now, Botox has made its way into dental offices, with a variety of potential benefits in this realm as well.
Medical Uses for Botox
Many people do not realize that Botox has been used for the medical treatment of some conditions for decades. The medication can relieve symptoms of a painful neck condition known as cervical dystonia, as well as an eye disorder characterized by uncontrollable eye twitching. The medication is also used today to treat chronic migraines and stress urinary incontinence.
The advantage of Botox is in its ability to relax nearly any muscle of the body, making it an effective treatment for multiple muscular disorders that can be both physically painful and emotionally embarrassing. The ability to relax targeted muscles is one of the primary reasons Botox has been found useful in dental treatments as well.
Botox Uses in Dentistry
There are a number of ways Botox might be used in the dental realm:
TMJ Treatment – when used in combination with traditional treatments, Botox is effective in relaxing the muscle contractions in the jaw that lead to headaches and facial pain
Bruxism Treatment – used in a similar fashion as TMJ treatment, Botox relaxes muscles that lead to teeth grinding and clenching, which in turns leads to pain and destruction to teeth.
Orthodontic Therapy – for patients that have strong facial muscles that can disrupt the new alignment of teeth, Botox can help calm those muscles to prevent relapse after orthodontic
Adjustment to Removable Prosthodontics – patients that have difficulty adjusting to new dentures may find Botox injections provide them the muscle relaxation necessary to let their new prosthodontics settle into their mouths
Candidates for Dental Botox
According to the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics, as many as 16 percent of dentists in North America may be offering some sort of Botox therapy today. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics, Dr. Kohani offers Botox injections for both cosmetic and dental Candidates for cosmetic Botox usually have signs of aging in the upper face they would like to eliminate. Botox is very effective at smoothing away horizontal lines across the forehead and vertical lines between the eyebrows known as “frown” lines. The treatment can also be used around the outer corners of the eyes to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and along the upper lip to eliminate fine vertical lines known as “lipstick” lines.
Dr. Kohani also offers Botox for some patients that do not find sufficient relief from symptoms of TMJ and bruxism using traditional treatment. If you suffer with either of these conditions, he will discuss your symptoms and options with you to determine your best course of treatment. To learn more about dental Botox, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry today at 858-622-1007.