You’ve probably heard that Botox can help reduce wrinkles for a more youthful looking appearance, but did you know it’s also beneficial in the dentist’s office. Botox can be used to help with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and teeth grinding as well as the associated headaches and jaw pain.
Botox, which is also known as botulinum toxin type A, is a type of bacteria that affects the nerve endings in the muscles. When used medicinally as an injection, it has the ability to temporarily paralyze the muscles where it was injected. It is most commonly used to reduce wrinkles, stop muscle spasms, help with migraine management and reduce underarm sweating. Most recently, it has been approved for use at the dentist’s office to help with certain conditions.
Benefits of Botox at the Dentist’s Office
Botox is approved in Florida for use by dentists who have been properly trained in the use of Botox for medical and cosmetic purposes. In dentistry, Botox is most commonly used to treat TMD and teeth grinding as well as the associated face pain and jaw pain as well as the headaches caused by those conditions.
Dentists Have an In-Depth Understanding of Facial Anatomy
During the course of their education, dentists learn about more than just the teeth and gums. They also learn about the anatomy of the face, including the muscles, nerves and joints. With their advanced knowledge of the face’s anatomy and function, dentist’s are highly qualified to prescribe and use Botox within their practices because they know where the affected muscles and nerves are located as well as the conditions that could affect those soft tissues. This advanced knowledge helps the dentist locate the correct area for the injection in order to maximize its benefits.
Botox Helps with TMD Symptoms
If you have TMD that hasn’t responded well to other treatments, Botox may be the answer. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a painful condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which is located at the back of your mouth near your ears. This joint is what allows your jaw to move. When there is a problem with the joint and/or the muscles and nerves surrounding the joint, it can cause difficulty opening your mouth wide, facial and jaw pain and trouble chewing. You may even experience instances where you are unable to open or close your mouth.
Botox is beneficial in controlling TMD symptoms in individuals that have already tried night guards, having missing teeth replaced with crowns or implants and aligning the teeth with braces to correct bite problems. When Botox is used for TMD, it is injected into the muscles around the temporomandibular joint in order to relax those muscles and reduce pain.
Botox Can Reduce Nighttime Teeth Grinding
Botox has proven beneficial for individuals who chronically grind their teeth. It most commonly occurs at night, but it can also occur during the day. Common reasons for teeth grinding include being under a lot of stress, having an abnormal bite or suffering from sleep apnea. Without treatment, chronic teeth grinding can wear down the teeth, leading to oral health problems.
Chronic teeth grinding often causes low-level headaches and sore jaw and facial muscles. It may even mimic the symptoms of TMD. Botox injections are typically used to help alleviate teeth grinding after other treatments, like bite correction and night guards, have failed to provide the desired results.
Lower Botox Doses for Dental Treatments
The doses used to provide jaw and face pain relief from TMD and Bruxism are about half what they are for the standard wrinkle treatment. This is because the goal of the injections is to relax the affected muscles in order to help with the symptoms of the condition.
Botox at our Largo Dentist’s Office
Our dentist in Largo offers Botox to help patients who have symptoms of TMD and teeth grinding that has not been helped by other treatments, like night guards and bite alignment treatments. We offer this service as a stand-alone procedure, or you can have it performed at your next dental cleaning appointment.
To learn more about how Botox at our dentist’s office can help you and to schedule an appointment, call us at 727-581-1869.