What is Botox®?
Botox® is the brand name for purified botulinum toxin A. It is a neuromodulator, meaning that it attaches to the nerve endings of muscles and prevents or lessens their contractions. Botox® temporarily paralyzes or lessens the force of the contraction of the muscles it is injected in or near. The effects of Botox® normally last about 3 months.
Botox® has become extremely popular as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles, and is one of the most performed and safest non-surgical medical procedures in the United States. It is not without side effects, however, and the most common include bruising, headaches, and muscle weakness in neighboring sites.
What are the cosmetic uses?
Botox® is FDA approved for the treatment of forehead lines and crow’s feet. It is also commonly used to treat other overactive facial muscles that cause unsightly wrinkles, like bunny lines around the nose, fine lines around the mouth, dimpling of the chin, and the downward turn of the mouth, as well as bands in the neck. Botox® can also treat gummy smiles, which is one of our favorite uses for it!
What are the therapeutic uses?
Botox® can be a great tool in managing head and neck pain, including the following: TMJ pain, headaches, bruxism, and trigger points. Overactive, tight, painful muscles are common in the head and neck, and Botox® not only prevents those muscles from becoming sore from overuse, but can help train them to not contract at inappropriate times. This also helps keep your teeth and dental work protected from destructive chewing, clenching, and grinding forces.
Why would you want Botox® from your dentist?
First, dentists deliver more injections on a daily basis than any other medical professional. We spent years in school learning about the head and neck region, and our expertise is in all those muscles involved in your smile and chewing. That happens to be almost every single muscle of the face! Botox® can help us calm down overactive muscles and relieve pain. As cosmetic dentists, we have an eye for details and we strive to create balance and harmony with the face and smile. Botox® can be a valid treatment option to help achieve all those goals, cosmetic and therapeutic. Call us for a free consultation to discuss if Botox® is right for you!