Botox and Dentistry

Botox and Dentistry

Contrary to popular belief, Botox treatment offers many more benefits than smoother, youthful skin. In fact, the botulinum toxin has a long history of medical uses.

In 1989, Botox was first approved by the FDA for the therapeutic treatment of eyelid spasms and crossed eyes. Since that time, continuous research and testing have brought about eight forms of the botulinum toxin for additional medical uses related to uncontrollable and chronic muscle spasm. Once, the only rights to botulinum A belonged to Allergan. Now, it is more widely known as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin.

Botulinum A is still widely used for aesthetic procedures, but Botox in dentistry and for the treatment of chronic health conditions is becoming more common.

Botox as a Dental and Facial Treatment 

Today, Botox as a dental treatment and a facial pain treatment for severe muscle tension is used in many ways, including:

  • A chronic migraine and other types of pain in the head, face, and neck
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Gummy smiles
  • Reversed smiles
  • Puckered or pursed chins or lips

Botox Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

TMJ disorder, TMD symptoms, and other bite abnormalities can lead to severe head pain triggered by muscle spasms in the head, neck, and face. Mouth guards can effectively protect teeth from the damage caused by nighttime clenching and grinding that lead to TMJ problems. However, night guards and mouth guards do nothing to stop the destructive behavior in the first place.

Botulinum A, on the other hand, can successfully treat severe bruxism by reducing the function of overused chewing muscles. The jaw muscles being treated usually display a partial reduction in about two to three days. Maximum effectiveness comes within one to two weeks following treatment.

Not all patients with chronic headaches related to bite disorders find relief with the botulinum toxin. But, one to two series of injections can provide enough pain relief to allow for normal function without the discomfort.

As with any headache pain remedy, Botox treatment for bruxism does not cure the cause. Instead, botulinum A can train extremely tense muscles to relax over time, breaking the painful cycle with repeated treatment.