Therapeutic Botox® to Treat Dental Issues
What Is Botox®?
Botox®, or botulinum toxin, is a drug made from a poisonous bacterium called clostridium botulinum. These same bacteria cause botulism, a paralyzing, life-threatening disease. German physicians discovered the bacteria in the mid-1800s, after observing illness in patients who ate spoiled sausage. (The root of botulism, botulus, means sausage in Latin.)
Noting the paralytic effect of botulism, researchers began looking for therapeutic applications. There are different strains of the toxin, with Types A, B, and E is the most common in humans.
The first successful therapeutic application came in 1949 when scientists proved the Type A toxin blocked neuromuscular transmission (communication between nerves and muscles). It took 40 more years of research and testing before Botox® received FDA approval for medical applications. The FDA did not approve Botox® for cosmetic purposes until the year 2000.
What Dental Conditions Can Botox® Treat?
Is Therapeutic Botox® Safe?
When administered correctly, Botox® injections are perfectly safe. A lethal dose in humans is 3,000 U. Therapeutic Botox® injections, however, or usually less than 100 U.
After treatment, patients may experience muscle soreness or weakness. As with any injection, the treatment site may become infected. Some patients report flu-like symptoms, nausea, a tingling sensation, and palpitations.
Side effects are rare and typically disappear within 48 hours.
Prolonged Botox® treatment may cause the muscle to atrophy. Ceasing treatment resolves this issue.