The Relevance of Botox in Dentistry
Dentists in Fairbanks, Alaska, care for the teeth by providing preventive treatments and addressing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues. They also provide treatments for painful conditions caused by grinding or jaw disorders. Many patients are surprised to learn that Botox, something that’s typically used for cosmetic treatments, has a place in dentistry for treating painful dental issues. Here’s what you need to know about the use of Botox in dentistry.
How Botox Works
Botox is made of a toxin from the bacterium clostridium botulinum. The product is manufactured to be used for cosmetic applications as well as to treat some health conditions. It’s a popular treatment because the toxin contains proteins that attach to nerve endings, which stops nerve transmissions. The result is that the muscles connected to those nerves are basically paralyzed and unable to contract. Botox is used to treat wrinkles in the face by stopping facial motions where the injections are placed, but they can treat other problems related to overactive nerves and muscle movement, such as overactive sweating, migraines, and certain dental disorders.
A common condition many people suffer from is teeth grinding or clenching. Many people are unaware of nighttime grinding or clenching until they start developing symptoms, including headaches or worn teeth. Teeth grinding is a serious problem because it wears down the teeth and can actually cause damage to the jaw as well. In fact, some people end up needing tooth restoration procedures because they’re unable to stop the grinding at night, even with the help of a mouthguard or other preventive measures. Botox can help patients dealing with clenching or grinding because, when it’s injected into the jaw muscles, it can relax them so that the force is drastically reduced.
TMJ disorder is another common problem many people experience. It occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes painful, often for unknown reasons. Jaw injury, arthritis, genetics, or teeth grinding can cause jaw pain. The dentist may try other treatments to relieve pain, but Botox is another option for treating this condition. By injecting the Botox strategically, the muscle contractions that are common with TMJ can be reduced or eliminated. This can significantly improve the facial pain and headaches that are common with TMJ disorder. Botox can often treat migraines in the same manner.
Cosmetic Dentistry Applications
Botox can also be used in cosmetic dentistry applications. While it won’t change the actual appearance of your teeth like other cosmetic dentistry procedures do, Botox can address the lines and wrinkles around the mouth that detract from your smile. In addition, some people are self-conscious about the gums that show when they smile. Botox can help relax the muscles so that the lips don’t pull back as far when you smile to reduce the appearance of a gummy smile.
Dentists and Botox
While it’s true that Botox is most frequently used in cosmetic applications, there are benefits of using it in dentistry. Dentists aren’t only trained in the anatomy of the face and oral structure, but they’re also trained and experienced in oral injections because they frequently administer local anesthesia during dental procedures. The best AK dentist can administer injections more quickly and with less pain. To learn more about how a dentist might be able to treat oral problems and cosmetic concerns with Botox, contact North Pole Dental Workshop today by calling 907-490-4650.