Botox is typically associated with cosmetic concerns, such as wrinkly skin and plastic surgery, but it also provides multiple dental benefits that many aren’t aware of. Botox treatments can help patients suffering from headaches caused by bite issues, treat teeth grinding and reduce the amount of gum-to-tooth ratio due to over-retracted upper lips. Once you have a Botox treatment done, however, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure best results, such as avoiding makeup for the first 24 hours. Find out what to expect during a Botox treatment and how it can improve your dental health with this guide!
How Botox Works
As we get older, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Many people turn to Botox to stop this process from occurring and look more youthful, but most don’t know of the health benefits that Botox can provide in general dentistry. Botox treatments are becoming more and more common in dentistry as they provide cosmetic oral health benefits that other procedures can’t replicate. Before we explain how dentists are currently using Botox to treat patients, it’s important to understand what Botox is and how it works. To begin, Botox is a botulinum toxin drug that is derived from Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is what causes botulism, but rest assured, Botox itself does not contain any harmful substances. To get the end product found in Botox, neurotoxins are removed from the bacterium and purified in a lab before it is administered to any patients. After this point, the treatment is clean, safe and completely usable.
Once injected into the muscle, Botox begins to attach to the nerve endings that control the muscles in the face. The toxin then blocks the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles, preventing muscle contractions. Sensory neurons are exempt from this process so there is no need to worry about being able to feel pain, temperature or touch. After three to four months, the treatment wears off and you will need to have another injection to prevent your past symptoms from occurring again.
How Botox and Dental Procedures Work Together
While most people assume that Botox is used just for wrinkle treatment or plastic surgery, but it is fast-growing among the dental industry, as well. For patients suffering from temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), Botox treatments help relieve the headaches that stem from it while treating facial pain. Muscle tension in the neck, face and head can also cause chronic headaches but can also be remedied with Botox treatments. Those who constantly clench or grind their teeth benefit from Botox treatments, along with patients who have gummy smiles from over-retracted upper lips. Patients who are struggling with their new dentures can opt for Botox treatment and it can be used to retrain the facial muscles (when necessary) in orthodontic cases. Lip lines and puckered chins can be remedied with Botox, as well, helping create smoother lines around the mouth.
Botox works hand-in-hand with dental procedures because it is a minimally invasive alternative to otherwise risky surgical options. Many oral health problems stem from stress and tense muscles, which can cause pain in the neck, head and jaw, but also damage your natural teeth. Botox treatments are exceptional at relaxing tense muscles in the face and mouth so that you can have a pain-free smile.
What To Expect Before and After
Just like any other dental procedure, there are things that you should be aware of before and after receiving a Botox treatment. Before receiving any injections, make sure to talk with your medical provider or dentist about how often you will need to be treated and how much it will cost you. Botox has immediate results, little recovery time and a small percentage of adverse effects, but it is still good to educate yourself as much as you can before beginning treatment. The treatment itself is quick and easy, with a simple injection combined with sterile saline into the desired area of the mouth and/or face. It is recommended that you do not lie down for one hour after the injection, and that you avoid sun exposure, makeup, exercise, facials and activities that cause facial flushing, like drinking alcohol, tanning, or getting a massage, for the first 24 hours. Side effects are rare, but some patients have experienced redness at the area of injection, flu-like symptoms and facial asymmetry. Make sure to keep your face clean from makeup, sweat and dirt to prevent bacterial or fungal infections, at least for the first 24 hours.