Who Is a Candidate for Dental Botox Treatment?
The application of dental Botox® for the treatment of oral health issues is becoming popular in different fields of dentistry. Cosmetic dentists use dental Botox® to correct a gummy smile or to minimize the look of wrinkles around the mouth. On the flip side, general dentists use Botox® to treat disorders like teeth grinding and TMD.
That being said, the very nature of dental Botox® treatments makes them unsuitable for certain patients, while remaining the perfect option for others. Before getting into who qualifies for dental Botox® treatment, it is important to take a look at how it actually works.
Botox® is a brand name and a sort-of acronym for Botulinum Toxin. As the term suggests, Botox® is made from a toxin excreted by the bacteria that causes botulism, an illness that causes potentially lethal paralysis.
It is the paralytic properties of the toxin that makes it such a popular cosmetic and dental treatment. Applied in small doses, this toxin causes localized paralysis in target areas; the benefits of which are:
- Localized paralysis of sweat glands arrests excessive sweating
- Botox® can also prevent the clenching of jaw muscles that contributes to teeth grinding
- The treatment can prevent facial pain caused by Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Botox® can also reduce the prominence and appearance of smile lines and other wrinkles
- It can correct a gummy smile by reducing the extent to which the lip retracts from the gums
It seems that Botox® is a versatile treatment with varied dental applications. This means that dental Botox® can help patients with the kinds of problems listed above. The question is: Can it help all of them?
Who qualifies for dental Botox®?
Just because Botox® is a potential solution for an individual’s dental problem does not mean that it is the right treatment for them. A good candidate for dental Botox® is one:
1. Who is healthy
Patients with nerve disorders, nerve injuries and chronic muscle conditions like muscular sclerosis (MS) should stay away from the use of dental Botox®.
2. Who is relatively young
Botox® becomes less effective the older an individual is. The treatment works best for people under the age of 50. Botox® is not FDA-approved for people over the age of 65.
3. Who has skin that is in good condition
People with sensitive skin may have an adverse reaction to dental Botox®. A person with a skin infection around the target area may also react badly to the treatment.
4. Who has wrinkles that form as a result of muscle movement
Some wrinkles only appear when an individual smiles, squints or frowns. This type of wrinkle is easy to correct with dental Botox®. In contrast, there is only so much Botox® can do for wrinkles that are always visible.
5. Who is okay with a temporary solution
Dental Botox® wears off, so a person who opts for the treatment should make peace with this fact. A patient who wants a more permanent solution should ask their dentist to recommend a different course of action.
6. Who wants the least invasive treatment option
Dental Botox® is temporary but non-invasive. In the case of a problem like TMJ, a patient may ask for a more permanent fix that would require minor jaw surgery.
7. Who can benefit from dental Botox®
Sometimes the more aggressive option is not a matter of choice but of necessity. If a patient’s jaw disorder is caused by a deformity, then dental Botox® would only be a temporary solution that can do little to help in the long term.
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