Botox: Wrinkles and Clenching?
What Is Botox?
Botox treatment is a sort of cosmetic drug. It is a brand name of a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox is the term that is most often used because it was the first injectable botulinum toxin. It has a traditional use and a novel use: the traditional use is Botox for wrinkles, and the novel use is Botox to treat teeth clenching.
Traditional use of Botox:
Although Botox is used for many things, such as hyperhidrosis, chronic migraine, overactive bladder, and blinking that you can’t control, it is most commonly used to treat wrinkles.
The primary objective of a Botox is to block signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract. When Botox is used for wrinkles, the relaxation of muscles softens the wrinkles. However, it won’t help with wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.
Botox for wrinkles is a suitably small procedure: it takes only a few minutes. Anesthesia won’t be needed as the needle being injected is small. Thus, the person being injected feels only some discomfort.
What to do before and after the Botox treatment?
It generally takes 7 to 14 days to take full effect. It’s best to avoid alcohol starting at least 1 week before the procedure. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should also be avoided for at least 2 weeks before treatment to help prevent bruising.
After the Botox has been injected, abstain from rubbing the injected spot for 24 hours so you don’t spread the Botox to another area. It is advised that you stay upright for at least 4 hours after the shots and take a day off from exercising.
The effects from Botox will last from about 3 to 7 months. As muscle action slowly returns, Botox for wrinkles will need to be injected again because wrinkles would start reappearing. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are shrinking.
New use of Botox:
Most people feel Botox concomitant with the treatment of wrinkles or to plump up lips. Yet, recent medical studies show the muscle-relaxing properties of Botox have potential in stopping jaw clenching and teeth grinding — at least for some time.
According to a study published in Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, evidence has shown that the botulinum toxin could help treat various non-cosmetic conditions in addition to bruxism, too. Botulinum toxin paralyzes muscles temporarily, making it equally useful in treating other conditions in the head and face (like facial dystonia) in which certain muscles need to be relaxed.
How does it Work?
Botox for teeth clenching is much similar to its cousins. However, there are minute differences. It consists of the injecting of a small amount of Botulinum toxin into the muscles responsible for moving your jaw. The botulinum toxin will reduce clenching, and it will also help with any stress or aches that you may experience in your head. Botulinum toxin usually kicks in about 1 to 3 days after injection (but can take up to two weeks), and the effects could last from 3 to 6 months.
There are some side effects however. For example:
- Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows
- Headache or flu-like symptoms
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing problems
- Loss of bladder control
It is highly recommended that you discuss all your treatment options with your dentist, doctor, or oral maxillofacial specialist (a dental surgeon specializing in the teeth, jaws, neck, and head) before deciding to use botulinum toxin to treat bruxism. Since it is new in the business, research is still being made into how to make it more efficient.