Botox is often used to reduce wrinkles in the skin and to treat nerve-related health issues, so you may be surprised if your dentist offers this service at his or her office. Believe it or not, Botox can be used to treat a number of dental issues. Here are just three ways Botox helps dental issues.
Eliminates Pain From TMJ Dysfunction
If your jaw joint isn't functioning well, you can experience symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, facial pain, and teeth grinding. If you don't want to undergo surgery to fix the mechanical aspect of the temporomandibular joint, then Botox can help. Botox helps people with TMJ dysfunction relax their jaw and avoid clenching. While more studies need to be done, one promising study from 2012 showed that people who'd undergone Botox treatments were able to decrease their pain and improve their jaw's range of motion.
Improves Results for Those Undergoing Implant Surgery
Implant surgeries tend to have very high success rates. Even so, there is always a chance that the implant post may not integrate with the jaw bone. If an implant doesn't integrate, then the patient will have to either have the post removed or undergo another surgery.
This can lack of integration can be due to a number of things, like poor circulation during healing, poor bone density, and so on. One factor that can prevent implant integration is that the chewing muscles in the cheeks (masseter muscle) can cause too much force when a person eats, which in turn can fracture new bone tissue as it rebuilds around the implant.
If a dentist uses Botox injections in the masticatory muscles, then there is less pressure on the implant and the surgical site can heal more easily. Besides implants, studies have shown that Botox can be beneficial to other types of jaw surgeries in reducing stress fractures from overactive masseter muscles.
Helps People Transition to Dentures
Getting used to dentures can be a difficult process for some people. To prevent pain and discomfort, some dentists may use Botox so that people can retrain their bite more easily as they adjust to eating and speaking with a dental appliance.
When a person loses his or her teeth, the jawbone shrinks, which can cause sunken cheeks and wrinkles on the face. Some denture wearers may like Botox treatments simply for the cosmetic benefits. Botox—along with wearing the denture—can help patients restore facial symmetry from bone loss and decrease skin imperfections and lines around the mouth and cheeks.
These are just a few ways a dentist can use Botox to treat dental problems. Reach out to your dentist today to learn more about Botox treatments.