Botox is short for botulinum toxin, which comes in the form of a purified protein.
How does it work?
Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin, which comes in the form of a purified protein. Botulinum toxin A is the most commonly used form with a few thousand articles supporting its use in scientific and medical literature. It is injected and attaches itself to the nerve endings of the motor muscles. It takes anywhere from two to ten days to block the nerve which power the muscles. There is no loss of sensory feeling at all during the time that botulinum toxin A is effective. Two to ten days after receiving Botox, the muscles cannot contract. Approximately three to ten days after treatment, the skin above these motor muscles becomes nice and smooth. The effects of Botox lasts approximately three to four months depending on various factors. When the wrinkles reappear, it is time for retreatment. Botox started early in life and continued will keep a person looking more youthful for as long as therapy continues.
This is one of the reasons that Botox has such an incredible safety record. Botox therapy is a temporary treatment and when effects are gone, they are gone completely. The most common dental treatment that is like Botox therapy is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a temporary procedure that needs to be refreshed from time to time.
Dental Uses for Botox
Botox has clinical uses in TMJ and bruxism cases, even more so for patients with moderate chronic temporomandibular joint and facial pain. Botox is a muscle relaxer and when given in typically half the dosage used for facial wrinkle smoothing treatment, it can greatly reduce the intensity of the muscle contractions that contribute to TMJ and facial pain and give the patient significant relief.
Botox is often used with dermal fillers as a non-surgical alternative to reduce gummy smiles. With Botox therapy and lip augmentation with dermal fillers, the muscles surrounding the lip are relaxed so the lip cannot raise as high as before, and the lips are made fuller. Patients still have the full ability to speak, chew and even… smooch!