Dr. Lathrop uses Botox to treat TMJ disorder and bruxism. Here are some of the most common questions that our patients ask about Botox in dentistry.
Where does Botox come from? Isn’t it dangerous?
It’s true that Botox is derived from Botulinum toxin, which is the cause of a serious food-borne illness called botulism. But as scientists have discovered, the toxin’s benefits overshadow its potential dangers. In the 1960s, scientists began to study medical uses for Botulinum toxin, which acts, essentially, by temporarily paralyzing muscles that come in contact with it. Physicians discovered that Botulinum toxin available under the medical trade name Botox helped patients with eye spasms, crossed eyes, and excessive blinking. They discovered it was helpful in controlling excess sweating, migraine headaches, and muscle spasms. Eventually, it became a sought-after remedy for facial wrinkles. Today, Botox is safely and routinely used by physicians and dentists to treat myriad symptoms, including pain from TMJ disorder and bruxism. When administered by a trained professional, Botox is safe and has minimal negative side effects.
How does Botox work?
When Dr. Lathrop decides that a patient can benefit from Botox, he uses a syringe to inject the medication into the muscle that is being treated. If he prescribes Botox to treat TMJ or Bruxism, he usually injects it in or near the jaw muscle. The Botox blocks nerve impulses to the treated area and reduces muscle activity in that area.
Does it hurt to get Botox?
As with any injection, there is slight discomfort associated with a Botox injection. But Dr. Lathrop will apply a topical anesthesia before injecting the Botox, which minimizes any pain. Icing the injection site after receiving Botox also will lessen discomfort.
How long does Botox last?
Results in each patient vary, and results also vary depending on where the Botox is administered. Typically, though, the therapeutic effects of Botox last approximately 4 months.
What does Dr. Lathrop use Botox for in his dental practice?
Dr. Lathrop uses Botox to treat painful TMJ (jaw) disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding).
Are there any special instructions or precautions to follow after getting Botox?
Immediately after your Botox injection, make sure not to rub the area around the injection site (you want the Botox to remain where Dr. Lathrop injects it, and not migrate to other muscles.) Other precautions that you should take to prevent Botox migration include lying down in the hours after your injection, and not taking part in any strenuous exercise for about 24 hours after your injection. It also is a good idea to apply ice or a cold compress to the injection site after your shot to minimize the chances of bruising (which can occur after any injection.)
If you want to put your best face forward to the world, a healthy smile is a big part of achieving that. To truly look your best, your teeth and your smile should harmonize and balance well with all of your facial features. Unfortunately, common issues such as bruxism or TMJ disorder can affect the health and appearance of your smile. With Botox, the Lathrop Dental Center offers a unique treatment for both of these common dental disorders. Whether you need preventive dental care, extensive dental work, or something in between, Lathrop Dental Center creates beautiful smiles by improving your teeth and overall smile health. Schedule an appointment at our Katy office today at 832-914-7663 or visit info@LathropDentalCenter.com.