Using Botox for Dental Problems
Botox is short for botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein which functions by preventing the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, causing flaccid paralysis when injected in the facial muscles. This is why it is a popular aesthetic treatment used for removing wrinkles and frown lines, especially among female clients.
It takes approximately 2-10 days to allow this protein to block the nerve transmitters which supply nerves to the muscles where it was injected. This will cause the muscle to stop from contracting. This muscle contraction is the mechanism that causes facial wrinkles. By stopping this action, wrinkles also stop forming. Around 3-10 days after botox treatment, the skin will smoothen and will be wrinkle-free. The botox treatment will remain effective for up to 3-4 months, but may vary based on the amount of botulinum toxin used and the lifestyle of the patient, among other reasons.
So what is the dental use of botox, you may ask? Actually, it can be used to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and facial pain. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the bones of your skull. It enables you to move your jaw to chew, yawn, and talk. Temporomandibular disorder is when someone has issues with their jaw and the muscles in their face that controls it.
Due to the fact that botox is a muscle relaxant, it can decrease the muscle contractions caused my TMJ. As botox relaxes the facial muscles, it will not only minimize symptoms of TMJ, also known as gummy smile, but it will also relieve the facial pain that comes with it. Botox plays a significant role in minimizing, if not totally eliminating, facial pain. Gummy smile is used to describe extra display of gingival tissue (your gums) when smiling. This can cause someone to feel self-conscious and seek treatment. For the patients whose gummy smile is mainly caused by hyperactive lip muscles, treatment with Botox is considered as an alternative treatment approach.
Botox therapy is a highly effective alternative procedure for patients with gummy smile or TMJ because of its relaxing effect on the facial muscles and its ability to reduce or to block muscle contraction. Talk to your dentist and explore this alternative treatment to help you regain your confidence and beautiful smile.