The field of dentistry is constantly advancing, with new treatments and procedures coming online on a regular basis. One treatment that an increasing number of dental practices have been adopting is Botox. You may be familiar with Botox injections that are used by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. But the same treatment has more applications than just anti-aging.
More Than Just Anti-Aging
Why Is Botox Used in Dentistry?
Although some people are surprised to learn that some dentists offer Botox injections, it actually makes sense when you think about it. What medical professionals are more familiar with facial anatomy and administering injections than dentists?
The area around the face is where dentists spend most of their professional lives. You are probably most familiar with their work in treating the teeth and gums, but dentists actually deal with related structures, such as the head, neck, and soft tissues found around the mouth.
How It Works
Botox injections contain a safe, modified botulinum toxin that is created in a controlled environment within a laboratory. It is used in small amounts to temporarily reduce the activity of injected muscles. This helps to prevent certain types of wrinkles, such as crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles. Botox is also used medically to treat migraine headaches.
Botox Treatment Areas
Here are some ways that your dentist helps patients with Botox injections:
Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition that often occurs during sleep when a patient may not even be aware of it. It can cause the teeth to become worn down and jaw muscles to become tense. Bruxism can even cause headaches and muscle tension in the area of the neck and shoulders.
Botox can be used to treat bruxism by reducing the activity of muscular contractions in the area of the jaw. The injections can provide pain relief and muscle relaxation for these patients.
The aging process can lead to the appearance of vertical lines over the tops of the lips, causing a prematurely aged look. Some patients who have missing teeth or dentures also have these same vertical lines.
Botox can help reduce the appearance of lip lines, particularly when used in combination with dermal fillers like Juvederm or Restylane.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Many dentists also offer Botox in conjunction with dermal fillers to treat lip lines. Dermal fillers are products that normally contain something called hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance produced by the human body. Getting older means that your body will produce less hyaluronic acid.
The role of hyaluronic acid in soft tissues like the skin is to hydrate and add volume. Its age-related loss leads to drier skin that loses volume and develops lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers help to roll back this process in the area of injections, leading to a reduction in wrinkles like lip lines.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition affecting the joint connecting the jaws together. It can cause symptoms like clicking and popping noises in the jaw, as well as tense and sore jaw muscles.
Botox helps treat TMJ by reducing the hyperactivity of mastication muscles, or muscles involved in chewing and biting. This leads to significant pain reduction and a relaxation of the jaws affected by TMJ disorder.
Other patients can benefit from Botox injections in the lip muscles, which may have been repositioned due to a dental condition. Botox treatment can help to retrain and relax these muscles, making it easier to accommodate new dentures, for example.
Some people are bothered by a so-called “gummy smile,” in which they perceive that their lips are pulled up too high over their teeth, revealing their gums. Through injections with Botox, the lip muscles can be relaxed, allowing the lips to move lower, covering much of the gum tissue over the top row of teeth.
Your Botox Consultation
Are you wondering if Botox is right for you? If so, we invite you to contact Craft Smiles for more information or to schedule a Botox consultation at your earliest convenience.