I know a lot of people have wondered, “Why is my dentist doing Botox?” There are actually multiple reasons! With extensive education in head and neck anatomy and physiology, dentists are very familiar with the muscles of the head and neck and what makes them work. In addition, dentists should be very skilled in administering injections, as it is part of our every day routine.
Botox, or Botulinum toxin, reduces the contraction of muscles and usually lasts up to 3-4 months once injected. Dental indications for Botox include, but are not limited to, migraines, muscle stiffness/spasms, headaches, and TMJ pain/clenching/grinding. For example, when the masseter, a large muscle on the side of the face, is over active, a patient may notice that he or she is constantly clenching and grinding their teeth, which can lead to tooth wear and breakage, headaches, jaw pain, and the need for a bulky mouth guard. By injecting Botox directly into this muscle, the force of contraction is reduced, thus alleviating symptoms and negative side effects associated with clenching and grinding. Cool, huh?
I admit; Botox is more commonly thought of as a cosmetic treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. And Botox for cosmetic reasons is still very popular! But keep this in mind; once collagen breaks down, wrinkles get deeper, and it may be more difficult to treat. Start early! Cosmetic Botox is best used as a preventive measure at the onset of fine lines, usually in one’s 20s or 30s.
I hope this has answered some of your questions about why the heck I am doing Botox. If you think you may benefit from Botox, schedule a consultation today!