Dental botox

How Is Botox Used In Dentistry?

The cosmetic benefits of Botox aren’t so much a secret, but Botox didn’t start as a purely cosmetic procedure. The aesthetic benefits of Botox were discovered accidentally and became FDA-approved for cosmetic use in 2002, over a decade after it was initially approved to treat eye muscle disorders. 

In recent years, Botox has expanded in its utility of improving a series of medical conditions related to dental care. Read on in this blog from Blue Line Dental to find out all the different ways Botox is used in dentistry.

Cosmetic Benefits of Botox

Most people are familiar with Botox’s ability to correct fine lines and wrinkles in the face, and as the go-to treatment for celebrities to keep themselves looking ever-youthful. However, Botox has some very specific cosmetic benefits that are rarely discussed. 

When it’s injected into the upper lip, it can be used to correct gummy smiles. A gummy smile, as the name suggests, exposes an excessive amount of gums when a person smiles rather than just the teeth. This is often a result of the lip muscles raising too high and can be corrected with Botox by relaxing the lip muscles.

We can also improve your smile with Botox by correcting lip and frown lines that could be detracting from your smile. This elevates the appearance of your teeth and creates a more youthful appearance. Botox is also commonly injected around the eyes to correct crow’s feet or in the forehead to reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles.

Treat Bruxism 

Bruxism is the medical term for involuntary teeth grinding. Bruxism usually occurs while the patient is asleep but can also take place when someone is awake. Since it usually occurs during sleep, most people aren’t aware of this behavior until it causes a problem or it’s pointed out by someone else.

Teeth grinding can severely damage the teeth by placing excessive force on the teeth throughout the night, every night. This can result in worn-down enamel, chips & cracks, or even broken teeth. 

While one option is to wear a mouthguard to absorb the force of grinding and protect your teeth, this doesn’t address the root of the problem and jaw clenching can also lead to TMJ. Injecting Botox into the forehead, temples, and jaw muscles prevents the jaw muscles from contracting throughout the night and can prevent jaw clenching and teeth grinding altogether.

Prevent Jaw Pain, Stiffness & Headaches In TMJ

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are closely linked to bruxism and they usually co-occur. By injecting Botox into the same areas as you would treat bruxism (in the forehead, temples, and jaw muscles) you can also treat the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. 

These symptoms include pain and stiffness in the jaw, difficulty opening the mouth, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth wide, migraines, and radiating facial pain. By preventing jaw clenching, the jaw can relax and the symptoms of lockjaw and pain subside.

Improve the Fit of Dentures

By retraining and relaxing the muscles with the placement of a new denture, we can ensure a snug fit and correct problems associated with ill-fitting dentures.

Patients who wear dentures can experience discomfort, soreness, and pain as they get used to a new denture. Botox can relax the mouth muscles to relieve discomfort. It can also improve the fit of dentures as a result of changes to the structure of the mouth from bone loss. 

Find Out If Botox Is Right for You

Interested in the cosmetic and medical uses of Botox in Manhattan? Contact us at Blue Line Dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Chavez and find out if you’re a good candidate to improve your smile, treat TMJ and bruxism, or improve the fit of dentures.

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