“Can Botox Help Improve My Smile and Pain From TMD?”
When people hear the word Botox, they usually think of wrinkle treatment and cosmetic procedures. But Botox can also have life-changing benefits when used to treat the pain and headaches caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Botox has a long history of treating both cosmetic and medical issues. It received FDA approval for its first therapeutic use in 1989 as a treatment for strabismus (crossed eyes) and blepharospasm (eyelid spasms).
Botox went on to receive FDA approval as a treatment for many other disorders and continues to be one of the most widely researched treatments of its kind. New uses, such as those administered by dentists like Dr. Chern, are discovered every year, providing a natural and effective solution for people who suffer from muscle tension, chronic headaches, and more.
What is Botox and How Does It Work?
Botox is the trademarked name for a formula that utilizes botulinum toxin A as its active ingredient. Botulinum toxin A has been studied for decades since being identified as a product of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum in the early 1920s.
Put simply, Botox works by dulling the signals that control muscle movement around the site where it is injected, relaxing overactive muscles. More specifically, botulinum toxin A is a neurotoxin that binds to nerve endings and prevents the flow of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating muscles to contract. By limiting the flow of acetylcholine, muscle activity is inhibited, but not completely paralyzed, allowing some movement while reducing hyperactivity.
What Can Dental Botox Treat?
When administered by a dental professional like Dr. Inna Chern, Botox is a natural and highly effective way to treat muscle clenching and temporomandibular joint disorder, or even correct a gummy smile. As an expert in facial and oral anatomy, dentists like Dr. Chern are a great choice to treat both the therapeutic and aesthetic needs of patients in a safe and highly effective manner with Botox.
If you’re experiencing facial pain in the forehead, cheeks, or temple area, Botox may be able to help relieve the symptoms by relaxing the muscles causing pain. In cases of chronic headaches and facial pain, failing to address the underlying cause—muscle tension—means the condition will continue to worsen, leading to more pain and potentially causing dental problems like teeth grinding or lockjaw. However, you can experience quick and substantial relief with Botox administered by Dr. Chern at New York General Dentistry.
Botox provides unique benefits compared to conventional treatment options, as it begins working in as little as 72 hours, and is effective for up to four months on average between treatment sessions. In addition, treatment is simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective, yet able to provide significant results for patients.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is what connects your lower jaw to your skull, and its motion is controlled by the masseter and temporalis muscles. TMJ disorder (TMD) can exhibit a variety of symptoms, though usually causes pain in the jaw and head and sometimes results in muscle stiffness, inhibited jaw movement, lockjaw, or clicking and popping of the joint itself. Factors such as teeth grinding, external stressors, or muscle spasticity can make the symptoms of TMD worse.
Dr. Chern uses Botox as a remedy for TMD, bringing relief to patients who suffer from face and jaw pain by treating the constricted muscles that are the root cause of the issue. With strategic injections in the temporalis and masseter muscles, Botox relaxes the tense facial muscles to eliminate symptoms of TMD.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) and Clenching
Whether it happens during the day or night, teeth grinding and clenching can quickly become a serious dental problem causing tooth wear and broken teeth Botox can be used to relax tight jaw muscles, preventing clenching that leads to grinding and relieving any residual pain from excess jaw tension.
One of Botox’s aesthetic benefits is reducing the amount of gum tissue that shows when a person smiles. If you feel your smile reveals too much of your upper gums, Botox can help reduce the appearance of a gummy smile by temporarily softening the muscle response of the muscles around the mouth responsible for smiling, allowing your upper lip to cover the gum line better.
Learn More About Botox for Dental Pain Relief
If you deal with chronic jaw tension or teeth grinding, Botox may help. With non-surgical treatments, you can get relief from the pain and headaches caused by overactive facial muscles. To find out if Botox can make a difference in your life and health, contact us today. Dr. Chern has the experience and knowledge you can trust to provide excellent, personalized dental care, including the use of Botox. Call us at 212.838.0842 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation today.