Did you know that Botox is a prescription drug and therefore it is not possible to walk into any clinic and ask specifically for Botox? Botox may be one of the treatments offered to help resolve your problem and indeed, the practitioner may decide that another form of botulinum toxin is preferable over the use of Botox. Throughout this article the terms botulinum toxin and Botox will be used interchangeably for the same treatment.
There are however a considerable number of uses for Botox which you may be unaware.
Facial lines and wrinkles
This is the most common use and is the most widely known use for botulinum toxin injections. The toxin works are relaxing the muscles and as they relax facial lines and wrinkles also disappear. Botox can also be used for:
This was first reported by Dr William Binder back in 1992. He was a doctor in Beverly Hills and he noticed that as he used Botox on his patients they tended to report fewer headaches after treatment. One of the manufacturers of Botox then began Testing his claims and found that they were indeed true.
Whilst the research conducted did indeed show a link between the use of botulinum toxin and headaches, it didn’t conclude as to whether the link was medical or placebo.
Excessive sweating treatment
This was also a side effect noticed by many clinicians in the early days of using Botox to treat facial lines and wrinkles. Botox stop excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) by blocking the neurotransmitters that stimulate the sweat glands. Hyperhidrosis is a condition which affects approximately one percent of the population and doesn’t discriminate between men or women. The treatment was approved in the United States in 2004 and involves several injections around the affected area, usually in the armpits. The treatment last for around eight months each time.
Reducing gummy smiles
A “Gummy Smile” is a phenomenon that when some people smile, their upper lip elevates too far above their upper teeth, exposing gums and producing an unattractive smile. This happen due to a number of causes which can be assessed by your dentist/practitioner (This is one of the advantages of having a dental practice work with botulinum toxin as well as treatment). One of the causes is hyperactivity of the muscle which elevates the upper lip. Occasionally, the gummy smile is also aggravated by a thin upper lip that further contributes to the problem by exposing the upper gum even more.
Simply and safely we can help correct your gummy smile by reducing the muscles strong pull on the upper lip. To make a thin lip look fuller you may also wish to have some dermal filler treatment.
Bruxism or tooth grinding treatments
Bruxism is a medical term that describes the act of grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw. Regular and persistent grinding of the teeth can result in an ache in the jaw, headaches, earache, disrupted sleep and can also contribute to the wearing down, darkening and breaking of the teeth.
Most cases of bruxism occur subconsciously during sleep. It is usually associated with contributing factors, such as stress or anxiety. Severe bruxists often have overvdeveloped muscles giving them a swollen square like face.
It’s possible to treat patients with bruxism using a combination of botulinum toxin and mouth guards to help relax the muscles involved.
As mentioned previously when we were talking about headaches, you may also notice a reduction in the headaches after treatment for bruxism with botulinum toxin.
A word of warning About Botox
You should not be treated with BOTOX® if you have:
- a disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease], myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome).
- allergies to any botulinum toxin product
- had any side effect from any botulinum toxin product in the past
- a breathing problem, such as asthma or emphysema
- swallowing problems
- bleeding problems
- plans to have surgery
- had surgery on your face
- weakness of your forehead muscles, such as trouble raising your eyebrows
- drooping eyelids
- any other change in the way your face normally looks
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BOTOX® can harm your unborn baby.
- are breast-feeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if BOTOX® passes into breast milk.
This post has been written by Dr Ajay Murgai, he is a highly experienced General and Cosmetic Dental Surgeon. Dr Ajay runs clinics in Hertfordshire, South Oxfordshire and Harley Street, and carries out a full spectrum of treatments from Aesthetic Dentistry to routine examinations.