Botox Use in Dentistry
Botox and other dermal fillers (cosmetic injectables) are popular aesthetic products used for treating fine lines and wrinkles. But did you know their efficacy goes much deeper — so to speak — than treating the skin of your face?
In dentistry, Botox can be an effective part of treatment plans managing problems like gummy smiles and TMJ disorder. That’s because it serves as a natural muscle relaxer, which is how it works in anti-wrinkle treatments. When applied, it partially paralyzes/relaxes the muscle tissue in that area, causing it to relax and smooth out.
How Botox Treats TMJ Disorder (TMD)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD or TMJD) can be a painful and debilitating condition. It’s often associated with symptoms like:
- Joint stiffness
- Limited range of motion
- Jaw deviation
- Difficulty eating
- Migraines and headaches
Applying Botox to the muscles around your TMJ can naturally ease the tension in those tissues for several months.
The great part about using Botox around your TMJ is that it sometimes eliminates the need for a daytime bite splint or pain medication. Rather than treating the symptoms of TMD, Botox manages some of the causes of the problem, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and muscle tension.
Botox for Gummy Smiles
A “gummy” smile is one where excessive gingiva (gum tissue) shows when you’re laughing or smiling. One of the reasons this can happen is because of hyperactive muscles in your upper lip.
When Botox is applied just under your lip, it helps those muscles to relax. As a result, your upper lip drops just a small amount so that it doesn’t come up as high when you’re smiling. Consequently, it covers some of that gingiva so that you’re seeing more tooth than gums. The best part? Botox treatment in dentistry eliminates the need for surgery!
How Long Does Botox Last?
At your first application, it can take a few days before you start to see any visible effects of the treatment. That’s because it can take up to a few weeks before Botox fully affects the muscles where it’s applied.
When used regularly, the results of Botox are fairly consistent and manageable. Most people need a touch up about every 3-6 months. That means you can get Botox reapplied during your regular dental checkups, or just schedule a short visit during your lunch break every now and then. When it’s combined with other aesthetic products such as dermal fillers, the results last even longer.
Does Your Dentist Offer Botox Treatment?
Kois Center dentists are trained to incorporate Botox cosmetic injectables into a variety of aspects of care. It’s also a perfect “finishing touch” to your smile makeover, giving you a smoother and more youthful frame around your teeth. Yes, dentists also use Botox to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. As orofacial experts, your dentist can accurately apply the product on the delicate skin of your face.
Look for a Kois Center dentist near you to find out more about Botox use in dentistry.