Botox in Dentistry

When you think of Botox the first thing that usually comes to mind is smoother, younger looking skin and fewer fine lines. You may wonder what any of this has to do with dentistry. The truth is Botox has a long history of therapeutic uses. In fact, the treatment was not originally approved in 1989 for cosmetic use at all. Botox was administered to correct crossed eyes and to ease eyelid spasms. The toxin was used solely for medical purposes until Botox Cosmetic was introduced in 2002.

Botox for medical use

Since that time several forms off the botulinum toxin have been repeatedly tested and researched to discover further therapeutic uses related to uncontrollable spasms and other chronic ailments. Obviously, Botox is still used for many cosmetic reasons, but it is now also used to treat the following medical and dental conditions:

  • A chronic migraine and other severe head pain related to persistent muscle tension in the head, neck, and face
  • Severe teeth grinding and/or uncontrollable clenching
  • Gummy smiles due to an overly recessive upper lip
  • Reversed smiles
  • Ever-present pursing or puckered lips and tense chins
  • Uncontrollable eyelid spasm (blepharospasm) and crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Cervical dystonia: a very painful condition characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the neck that cause the head to tilt, turn or twist
  • Overactive bladder
  • Uncontrollable and excessive underarm perspiration
  • Spasms in the elbow, wrist, and fingers
  • Headaches caused by overnight teeth grinding
  • Lockjaw
  • Jaw discomfort caused by talking and chewing
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Jaw tension

Botox treatment for TMJ symptoms

Botox is now recognized as an effective treatment for symptoms associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Stress can bring on TMJ symptoms and/or make them worse. Fortunately for some people, symptoms do improve on their own. But for those with stubborn pain, tension and discomfort, Botox offers long-term relief. This non-surgical option requires no downtime, may improve TMJ symptoms, and can be performed quickly in your dentist’s office.