How to Protect Your Teeth

3 Disorders Dentists Can Treat With Botox

When one thinks of Botox, the first thing they might think of is getting rid of wrinkles or unwanted facial lines. However, Botox is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such as migraine headaches, neck spasms, and excessive sweating. Botox can also be an effective way to treat certain dental disorders.

Here are three disorders dentists can treat with Botox.

1. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorders affect the hinge that connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the skull. The temporomandibular joint allows the mouth to open and close. This joint is also crucial for chewing and talking. Injury, arthritis, teeth grinding, or structural issues with the jaw are some common causes of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Symptoms of temporomandibular disorders include pain in the face or neck and limited jaw movement. The jaw may also make popping or clicking noises. In some cases, a dentist may prescribe Botox to treat temporomandibular disorders. Botox helps to relieve tension in the jaw. Tension relief in the jaw helps to decrease pain and restore function to the jaw.

2. Bruxism

Most people refer to bruxism as teeth grinding. While this condition is common in children, some adults grind their teeth as well. There are many reasons adults may grind their teeth. Sometimes bruxism is the result of anxiety or high-stress levels. Some adults grind their teeth when they are concentrating. Adults that grind their teeth at night might do so because of sleep apnea or acid reflux. No matter what the reason, there can be negative consequences to grinding the teeth on a regular basis. 

Some of the negative consequences of bruxism include:

  • Fractured teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches

In order to avoid these negative effects of bruxism, some dentists recommend that their patients wear a mouth guard at night or take muscle relaxants. Dentists might also recommend Botox, which helps to relax the jaw muscle and reduce involuntary teeth grinding.

3. Masseter Hypertrophy

A facial muscle called the masseter is one of the muscles that is responsible for chewing. The act of chewing is sometimes called mastication. When the masseter muscle becomes enlarged, it results in a condition called masseter hypertrophy. Pain, facial swelling, and difficulty chewing are the most common symptoms of this condition.

Masseter hypertrophy is usually treated with muscle relaxants or surgery. Another effective treatment is Botox. When Botox is injected directly into the masseter muscle, it can help to improve chewing, decrease pain, and prevent the jaw from sagging.

Contact a local dentist to learn more about these options for Botox treatment.