How Botox Can Improve Your Smile
When you first think about Botox, you may well think about Hollywood celebrities getting shots so they can look younger for longer. Botox might not sound like something ordinary people might use.
You’d be surprised to learn, however, that Botox actually has dental applications. For several issues that can occur around the mouth, Botox can be a great solution. If you’re curious about all the ways in which Botox can give you a bigger, brighter smile, keep reading.
What is Botox?
Botox, otherwise known as Botulinum toxin type A or OnobotulinumtoxinA, is produced from the bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. In higher doses, this toxin can cause food poisoning, or botulism. In smaller doses, Botox can alleviate health problems such as migraines, overactive bladder, and strabismus (misaligned eyes).
A Botox injection will block chemicals that can cause muscles to contract. This will relax the muscles in the area. It’s easy to see how someone who has a lazy eye or severe headaches might benefit from the relaxation of nearby muscles. As long as it’s dispensed by someone qualified, Botox is a generally safe treatment option. Although in the past, licensed medical doctors or physicians have been the go-to professionals for Botox injections, more and more dentists are becoming qualified, too. At Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, we provide Botox treatment for many types of issues right in our office.
Myths About Botox
Aside from being thought of as an aging actor or actress’ solution to landing younger roles, there are quite a few myths out there about Botox. Before we explain what Botox can do, let’s bust some of the myths.
Botox will freeze your face. This is a common misconception. Botox actually does the opposite of this. It will relax muscles, not contract them.
Botox only removes lines from your forehead. As you’ve already learned, Botox can remove lines from your forehead, but it can also do so much more.
Botox injections are painful. If done with a local anesthetic by a licensed professional, a Botox injection should not be painful.
Getting Botox treatments will make wrinkles worse. This is untrue. When Botox treatments wear off, your skin will return to how it was before the treatment.
Botox is poisonous. Botox has been deemed safe and was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Botox Solves a Variety of Problems
There are a number of issues in and around the mouth that Botox injections can solve.
When you smile, does your upper lip rest high on your gums? In general, when someone smiles, about 2 mm of gum shows on the top part of your mouth. If your smile is gummy, 3 mm or more can show. This condition can be caused by excessive growth of the upper jaw or by gum tissue that is long or enlarged. The shape and size of your teeth can play a role, too. If your teeth are small, more of the gum will naturally show. A gummy smile can make a person feel self-conscious.
After a Botox injection, the upper lip will relax and not show as much gum. The injection goes right in between your upper lip and jaw, and within just a few days you will begin to see the results. The effects will last for 3 to 4 months.
Upper or Lower Lip Lines
As you grow older, lines and wrinkles can form around the mouth. This is natural, as the levels of the collagen that makes your skin supple get lower as you age. Less oil in your skin, bone or fat loss, or overexposure to the sun can also cause lines and wrinkles.
Nothing can be done about static wrinkles—those etched in your skin. Dynamic wrinkles, however—also known as expression lines—can be reduced with Botox. An injection of Botox will relax the muscles around your lips. You will be unable to purse your lips quite as much, and the result will be fewer wrinkles and lines. You will see smoother skin around your mouth for several months after treatment.
When you’re at rest, your mouth may turn downward. Even when you smile, your mouth may look more like a frown. Just like a gummy smile, a downward-facing smile can make you feel self-conscious. Botox can work on the muscles that are tight around the corners of your mouth, turning them down. With those muscles relaxed, the corners can turn up, giving you a much happier expression. The effects will last for 3 to 6 months.
Post-Surgery for Dental Implants
Occasionally, when dental implants are placed in your mouth, the lip muscles won’t allow for a proper fit. A Botox injection can ensure that your lip muscles are relaxed. A dental implant can be placed with more ease, and your mouth will heal properly around the implant.
If you have a condition that causes spasms in your face, it can be agonizing. Spasms can come from a dental infection, low calcium, or a facial injury, among other reasons. A Botox injection can relax whichever muscles are spasms, offering welcome relief. The effects of the injection can last for 3 to 4 months.
If you clench your jaw or have TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), it can cause a great deal of pain. As with all these other applications, Botox injections can relax the muscles around your jaw and lessen your pain. Expect to benefit from the Botox treatment for 3 to 4 months.
Here at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, we are confident in our ability to help you decide if Botox is the right treatment for your particular condition. Botox injections can be very effective, but keep in mind that when the treatment wears off, you will likely need to have more treatments to continue to reap the benefits.
A Botox injection can have some side effects, including:
- pain, swelling, or bruising at site of injection
- headaches or flu-like symptoms
- droopy eyes
- crooked smile
- eye dryness or excessive tearing
Your dentist will go over all of these with you, so you know what to expect.
Is Botox for You?
If a condition around your mouth is keeping you from smiling, Botox injections may be for you. Contact us today at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center and set up an appointment to discuss your options. We’re ready to help bring your smile back to full force!