Dental Botox® has many purposes when used in dentistry. Some of these purposes are cosmetic, like the removal of smile lines and the correction of a gummy smile. However, other purposes focus on therapeutic treatments like pain management.Want to know how dental Botox® can be used to manage and relieve pain; specifically facial pain? Read…
Facial Botox from a General Dentist for Temporomandibular Disorders
The application of facial botox® in dentistry is quickly becoming more popular, especially for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMJ). When administered by a trained and experienced general dentist, facial Botox® can provide fast relief from the unpleasant and frustrating side effects of the condition. If you have TMJ disorder, continue reading to know how Botox® is used as a treatment.
Overview of facial Botox
Botulinum toxin A or Botox® is applied as a highly effective procedure for TMJ disorder and related issues such as jaw tension, facial pain and migraine headaches. Facial Botox® is a conservative and non-invasive process completed in one appointment in the dental office. It is approved for cosmetic and medical applications and with minimal risk.
When injected into the facial muscles, Botox paralyzes the muscle fibers or inhibits impulse transmission along the nerves. The treatment leaves the facial muscles relaxed, preventing them from engaging in involuntary jaw movement, particularly during sleep. This consequently prevents nighttime teeth grinding, jaw clenching or jaw locking, which are all factors that contribute to TMJ disorders. The relieving effects are usually noticeable within a day or two after treatment, but it may take about a week or two to notice the full effects of the injections.
Although Botox will prevent the facial muscles from powerful movements, patients will still be able to use the muscles for actions such as talking, chewing and swallowing. This makes Botox a preferable and convenient option for many patients.
Facial Botox from a dentist can last between 10 to 30 minutes on average, depending on the number of injections needed. The dentist will determine this during the initial examination. The only discomfort associated with the treatment is the injection pain, which dissipates quickly. The dental professional may apply numbing or anesthetic cream before the injection to minimize discomfort.
What to expect after treatment
The Botox treatment provides temporary relief and the results last for about three to four months. When the effects wear off, patients will need to return for another appointment, according to the dentist’s recommendations. After the procedure, patients can return to their regular daily activities immediately upon leaving the dental office.
Swelling, redness, numbness or mild bruising may occur but should disappear within 24 hours. Ice packs can help relieve any tenderness around the injection area. To minimize the side effects, patients need to take precautions such as:
- Avoid rubbing, touching or massaging the injected areas since this can cause discomfort or move the Botox to unwanted areas
- Stay off excessive alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours
- Avoid blood-thinning meds such as aspirin for 24 hours
- Strenuous physical activity is not advisable in the first day or two
Facial Botox is not suitable for every patient. Patients who think they might be eligible for the procedure will need to visit the general dentist to get a professional opinion. During the consultation, a necessary evaluation will be done to ascertain eligibility for the procedure. When other non-invasive treatments for TMJ disorder fail to provide substantial relief, dental Botox might work to relieve jaw tension and facial pain.
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