When you hear the word “Botox,” chances are you may conjure up a mental image of a celebrity with a face frozen in an expressionless look. While millions of people receive Botox injections, the vast majority of us still only think of this procedure as one purely one at fighting wrinkles and aging. And while there is certainly no shame in using Botox for cosmetic purposes, there are actually a variety of tested medical benefits to Botox that few people know about. From assisting patients with bladder issues to controlling muscle spasms, Botox has been used by doctors for decades to treat an array of medical ailments. In recent years, dentists have also started to incorporate Botox into their practice.
What is Botox and how does it work?
Botox is one of a variety of drugs derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. While this bacterium can cause the devastating disease known as botulism, scientists are able to extract the active, therapeutic neurotoxin from the bacterium and purify it in a laboratory to make it both safe and effective in treating humans. Once Botox has been formulated, it is given to patients via injection. Botox attaches itself to the nerve endings of a muscle and works over the course of a few days to block the signals being sent to that muscle, causing it to relax. Botox only inhibits the reactions associated with movement, meaning the ability to feel temperature, pain, and touch is not impacted at all. The injections last for a period of three to four months before needing to be readministered.
How is Botox applied in dentistry?
Botox in dentistry has seen a rise in recent years as a treatment option for an array of medical issues. Uses of Botox in dentistry include but are not limited to treating extracapsular myogenic temporomandibular disorder, parafunctional clenching, trismus and the debilitating headaches associated with these conditions. While Botox can work wonders in alleviating pain associated with muscle tension and spasms, the injections alone cannot stand as a sole form of treatment. A comprehensive treatment plan will be made with your dentist to work on combating every angle of the issue you personally face. Additionally, it is important to seek Botox treatments only from a medical professional who has undergone proper training for administering the injections. Regulations surrounding Botox vary from state to state, but it is critically important to do your research before finding someone to treat your condition with Botox.
If you think that Botox may be the solution you’ve been looking for to help with your facial muscle woes, do not hesitate to speak to your dentist about the idea! Treatment will vary from person to person, but there is a chance that easy, routine injections could provide the relief you have been seeking.
To learn more about how Botox could be used to improve your oral health, or to schedule a consultation with your dentist, give us a call at Sunrise Dental Care in Geneva to discuss matters further today!