Botox is a popular anti-aging treatment that can also be used to treat temporomandibular joint disorder, persistent migraines, and other medical issues. It works by paralyzing small muscles that, when contracted, cause jaw misalignment or create unwanted wrinkles, especially on the forehead and from the nose to the corners of the mouth. Regardless of your age, if you’re a legal adult and are concerned about signs of aging, Botox might be a good choice for you.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is a highly refined form of botulism toxin. When injected in small quantities, it works by paralyzing target muscles. It’s best known as a cosmetic injectable treatment, since it’s effective at reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the mouth, on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Your cosmetic dentist may be certified to use Botox for these purposes if he has undergone special training.
Botox has also been used to successfully treat temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD often involves tension in the jaw muscles, pulling the jawbone out of its correct alignment. Botox can be injected into these muscles, making them relax so the jawbone can ease back into the proper position.
What is a Botox Treatment Like?
Botox is administered in the office of your cosmetic dentist. You might receive a topical anesthesia to numb the area where the injections will take place. The dentist might also use ice for additional comfort and to reduce swelling. The Botox is injected with very fine needles designed for accuracy. You’ll see some difference right away, but the full effects will settle in over a few days. During this time, you should avoid rubbing or scratching the injected areas. Rubbing and scratching can cause the Botox to move, creating unexpected, unwanted results.
The effects of Botox last several months, but you’ll have to go in from time to time for touch-up treatments. In the case of TMD, your dentist might recommend additional orthodontic treatment, restorations, or other techniques to ensure your teeth remain in proper alignment.