Taking a closer look at botulinum toxin injections
When it’s administered correctly (such as by a qualified dentist), botulinum toxin has many beneficial uses. Small doses of botulinum toxin can be safely injected into targeted muscles to relax them, for both cosmetic and functional reasons.
As the treatment becomes more mainstream, new formulations have been manufactured and approved. You may have seen botulinum toxin marketed under various brand names including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin or Myobloc.
From fixing unwanted wrinkles to relaxing sore jaws, botulinum toxin injections have seen a rapid rise in popularity – in fact today there are more than 6 million treatments administered every year. In this news post we’ll look at some of the questions you may have about anti-wrinkle injections.
Using botulinum toxin to treat lines and wrinkles
Small amounts of botulinum toxin (formulated for therapeutic use) can be injected into a patient to target their nervous system.
Simply put, when it’s injected into the junction between a nerve and muscle, botulinum toxin stops the chemical signal between the two tissues. This causes the muscles to relax, allowing the overlying skin to smooth out since it’s no longer creased as often.
It’s a very effective way to cosmetically treat fine lines and facial wrinkles – yet botulinum toxin has more applications than just cosmetic purposes.
What other uses are there for botulinum toxin?
Anti-wrinkle injections can also be used for cosmetic dental applications such as treating gummy smiles. It’s an affordable, reversible, and minimally-invasive method to treat high gum lines.
Dentists such as Wickham Terrace Dental’s Dr Nick Yee can also use botulinum toxin as part of your TMJ disorder treatment. Anti-wrinkle injections can alleviate symptoms including sore jaws, clenching and grinding teeth, and limited jaw openings. Botulinum toxin provides jaw joint relief as your jaw muscles can no longer exert the same amount of force as they used to on your teeth.
Botulinum toxin has been used to successfully treat a multitude of other medical conditions, including muscle twitches, migraines, excessive sweating, and even incontinence. And every year scientists find more uses for the drug.
What’s involved with botulinum toxin injections?
Your procedure begins with Dr Yee diluting a bottle of powdered botulinum toxin with saline. In this safe form, it can then be injected directly into the facial area, allowing the muscles to relax.
You’ll typically see the effects within 24-72 hours, but they can take up to two weeks to be completely noticeable.
Whilst these injections are very safe and well documented, they’re not suitable for everyone. It’s highly recommended that pregnant and lactating women; those with a history of neurologic diseases; and people who’ve had a previous allergic reaction should not use botulinum toxin.
What are the risks and side effects of anti-wrinkle treatment?
Botulinum toxin is a very safe and well-researched treatment that is minimally invasive, reversible, and has very few side effects. However, as with any drug, it’s recommended that you be aware of the potential side effects.
The most common side effect is a potential antibody reaction, which causes around one percent of people to become unresponsive to subsequent anti-wrinkle injections.
Other potential side effects are:
- Double vision
- Mild pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Allergic reactions
If you are unsure about your body’s potential reactions to botulinum toxin therapy, it’s recommended that you seek advice from your GP.
How long does anti-wrinkle treatment last?
The effects of botulinum toxin therapy can last anywhere from two to six months.
As your body works to get rid of the botulinum toxin, muscle activity will return. Your muscles will contract to the same degree as before and your skin folds will gradually recur.
Yet with regular botulinum toxin treatments your muscles will become “trained” to relax, and the effects of the drug will last longer with repeated use.
Talk to us to find out more about anti-wrinkle injections
When administered by a qualified practitioner such as our own Dr Nick Yee, botulinum toxin is a safe and very effective treatment.
If you’d like to discover if anti-wrinkle injections could help you, get in touch with Wickham Terrace Dental online or call us on 3831 3031 today.