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What are the Side Effects of Dental Botox®?
There used to be a time when Botox injections were primarily used to conceal wrinkles and facial expressions. Now, Botox has crossed over from cosmetic treatments and into other fields. As an example, Botox is used to treat excessive sweating. It also has several uses in the dental field.
Patients that get dental Botox treatment for the first time may feel nervous. They may worry that something will go wrong, during or after the treatment. The best way to dispel this fear is by finding out more about dental Botox and what to expect from the treatment, including potential side effects.
The basics of Botox
There is a type of bacteria known as Clostridium Botulinum. In food, this bacteria releases toxins that cause terrible, and sometimes lethal, food poisoning. But, when that same toxin is purified to isolate the active ingredient, the Botox injection is created.
The active ingredient in a Botox shot is a neurotoxin that attaches itself to the nerve endings that move the muscles at the site of the injection. The Botox cuts off communication between the nerve endings and the rest of the nervous system. So even when the brain tells these muscles to move, they remain immobile.
How dentists use Botox to help their patients
The entire point of Botox is to immobilize particular muscles. Take, for example, a person who suffers from TMJ disorder. This person likely clenches their jaw, which they do by engaging the face and jaw muscles. A dentist will help such a patient by injecting Botox to the jaw muscles. When the Botox takes effect, the patient will be unable to clench their jaw. This will prevent the patient from grinding their teeth, hurting their jaws and developing migraines.
Botox can also be used to correct a gummy smile. It is injected into the lip, which reduces how far the lip can retract from the gums. This allows the gums to remain covered.
For all that it does, Botox only lasts for a couple of months. When it wears off, the patient will have all their old symptoms back. Which means that the patient will have to go back for another Botox treatment.
Side effects of Botox
Botox has been tried and tested in countless cosmetic and dental treatments. It is extremely safe, with a high success rate. That said, some people may experience side effects like:
- Mild pain, redness and/or bruising at the site of the injection, which happens in the week following the injections
- Repeated use of Botox can lead to Botox resistance, where the treatment stops working
- Sometimes the Botox can spread farther than intended, which can cause drooping eyelids
- A person may also feel some tightness around the top of their head in the days following treatment
- Symptoms of the flu, including headache and nausea
When to worry
The side effects listed above are nothing to worry about. They go away after a few days. A person should only worry if they experience muscle weakness, which presents as:
- Trouble swallowing
- Breathing problems
This only happens if the Botox spreads to a larger area of the body. A person who experiences these symptoms should get medical help immediately.
Learn more about what Botox can do for you
Dental Botox can help to improve your oral health or appearance. Get in touch to find out if it is a good treatment option for you.
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