Cosmetic Injections in Dentistry

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

Cosmetic injections for medical use

Since that time several forms of the injection have been repeatedly tested and researched to discover further therapeutic uses related to uncontrollable spasms and other chronic ailments. Obviously, it 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
  • Symptoms of TMJ disorder

These cosmetic injections are 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, the toxin 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.