Everyone knows Botox as the popular therapy to help make us look younger. But what you may not know – is that Botox can be used in dental treatment. According to the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, some 8% of dentists in North America now provide Botox services.
Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin, a purified protein that’s injected into the facial muscles. Botox works as a muscle relaxer. After a Botox injection, when the muscle does contract, the motion that causes wrinkles in our skin will stop. Botox treatments typically last for three to four months.
In dentistry, its muscle-relaxing qualities can help patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or facial pain by reducing the intensity of the muscle contractions and giving them relief.
Botox can also be used as a non-surgical alternative for patients who have high lip lines and show excess gums. With Botox therapy, the muscles surrounding the lip are weakened so they cannot raise the lip as high as before.
Botox has also been used in other areas of dentistry including retraining muscles during orthodontic therapy. Braces will help move teeth into place, but with muscle movement, teeth can move back out of place. Botox can be used to reduce the intensity of the muscle post treatment.
Botox can also be used in patients as they get used to new dentures, by relaxing the muscles of the mouth. If you’re interested in the potential uses of Botox in dentistry, ask your dentist.