Botox, a naturally purified protein used to relax muscles and decrease pain, is a quick and relatively painless, non-invasive treatment with numerous therapeutic and cosmetic uses in dentistry. Botox is mostly known as a fast and effective tool to make skin look tighter and more youthful. In addition to cosmetic benefits, however, many people don’t know that botox has been effective in helping treat many dental issues as well, including TMJ, migraines, and high lip line. Pathways Dental Clinic is pleased to offer Cosmetic and Therapeutic Botox treatment to our patients!
Botox is the trade name for Botulinum Toxin. It is a neuromodulator and a purified protein. Botox is injected into muscles and acts by blocking the neurotransmission of the nerves that innervate the muscles. It does NOT paralyze the muscle, only down modulates it to decrease its contraction.
Botox injections work by blocking the nerve signals to certain muscles, thereby limiting movement and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyes (glabella), around the eyes (crow’s feet), and the mouth (frown lines), creating an overall smoother appearance. Who better than a dentist to know what makes a great smile and perform cosmetic treatments, since dentists are highly trained in facial structures and facial anatomy?
Botox can also be used for therapeutic reasons, in conjunction with other dental treatments besides being used to improve the look of your smile by improving uneven lips and a gummy smile. Therapeutically, Botox can be used to relax facial muscles and give relief to patients who suffer from chronic migraines and headaches, as well as jaw pain relating to TMJ (issues surrounding the jaw and jaw muscles) or Bruxism (teeth grinding).
Botox is an effective treatment for relieving pain as a result of TMD or migraines. TMD is the name given to several problems with jaw movement and pain in and around the jaw. When your jaw muscles are strained, they contract, which can lead to muscle spasm, pain, and soreness. Botox injections can help prevent the muscles from tensing around your jawline, thereby reducing the intensity of muscle contractions that contribute to TMD and facial pain. Neuromodulators are also used in mastication (chewing) muscles, such as the masseters and temporalis, to treat Bruxism (“clenching and grinding “of the teeth), and tension headaches. This is called Myofascial pain. For some patients, this provides extreme relief of pain that no other treatment can offer.
During your consultation, the Pathways Dental team will take a series of photographs, which will allow us to develop a customized, comprehensive treatment plan just for you, and record improvements over time.
There is no loss in sensation in any of the areas of muscle and skin where Botox is injected. The procedure is relatively painless and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Effects can start to be seen in about 1-2 weeks and usually last up to 4 months, after which the medication is gradually broken down, and re-treatment is required. Often patients will notice a significant decrease in wrinkle activation and forming, which can provide a more youthful look.
We also carry products such as Dysport®, which has the same efficacy and onset as Botox but can last slightly longer. Both are neuromodulators.
Whether Botox is to reduce visible lines, help improve a high lip line, or alleviate jaw pain or headaches, we believe function and aesthetics are partners in achieving optimal health!