In the world of oral health care, scientific advancements have dramatically changed the way conditions are diagnosed, treated, and prevented. Where losing all of the teeth was once a given, today it's much less common. While you may have heard of the use of botox to alleviate fine lines and wrinkles in the skin, this substance is also showing promise in treating oral health care issues. Learn about the innovative ways dentists are offering their patients relief through botox right here.
Temporomandibular Joint Diseases
While this condition focuses on the jaw joint itself and the disc that rests between it, a periodontist or dentist is often the first line of treatment. For patients with this condition, the most common complaints are spasming, locking, and intense tension headaches.
The reason this occurs relates to the fact that muscles tend to overcompensate for unstable joints--this is true anywhere in the body. In the case of TMJD, the muscles that run directly around and over the joint just happen to connect to the head, shoulder, and neck. Nerves also run in the same pattern.
Botox injections can help to force the muscles to relax, relieving a permanent spasm. The chemical also has a side effect of loosening up tension to provide relief for headaches.
Angular cheilitis refers to a condition where the corners of the mouth become inflamed, cracked, and blistered. While this can occasionally happen in dry winter weather, those who suffer from AC experience it almost all the time. This difficult condition is caused by an overflow of saliva and can be very difficult to treat with traditional steroids and topical medications.
When AC advances, it can even create marionette lines along the patient's face. This creates an aged look regardless of actual age.
Thankfully, botox is showing success in treating many of these patients. Its ability to fill out the skin and puff up surfaces can eradicate fine marionette lines. Functionally speaking, it can also be injected into the skin directly under the corners of the mouth--lifting them and helping to prevent salivary overflow in the first place.
Most patients experience a reduction in both symptoms and irritation as long as occasional injections are maintained.
Post-Implant Esthetic Failure
One of the most common side effects of dental implants is the creation of unsightly black triangles in between each and every tooth. Called open gingival embrasures, it's caused by damage or loss of the papilia along the gum line. In simpler terms, this refers to receding gums.
Black triangles aren't just unsightly, either; each one is truly a small space between the teeth. That's the perfect breeding ground for bacteria since food particles can become trapped easily. That means finding a solution is important to your overall dental health.
Unfortunately, typical treatments leave much to be desired. Filling the triangles can work, but it's very obvious and isn't terribly esthetically pleasing. Removing the implants and trying again is another potential option, but this is heavily invasive, painful, and expensive.
Instead, some dentists are trying botox to plump up the gum line itself.
In the industry textbook, Principles and Practice of Esthetic Dentistry: Essentials of Esthetic Dentistry by Nairn Wilson, a second potentially helpful technique is laid out. It states that injections can also be made into the upper lip close to the levator labii superioris muscle. By relaxing this muscle, the lips will hang down just a tiny bit further to better cover the triangles.
Even today, dental health care professionals continue to research new ways to create aesthetically pleasing, comfortable smiles with the help of botox. Whether you're trying to reduce the pain of a chronic condition like angular cheilitis or you simply want to improve the look of your smile, you have options. Speak with your dentist or contact a dental clinic like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc today about whether botox treatments are right for you.