Exciting Advances in Botox Treatment

How Botox is Being Used To Treat More Conditions Than Ever Before

Botox has been safely and effectively erasing wrinkles for over 30 years. It is the first and only FDA-approved prescription product which temporarily improves the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet in adults. As of late, new and exciting uses for Botox have emerged, making it one of the most versatile products on the market.

What is Botox?

Botox, more formally known as Botulinum toxin Type A, is a purified form of Clostridium botulinum which, when injected at just the right place, releases chemicals which prevent the nerve from sending a message to the muscle to contract. The result is a relaxed muscle. The effect is temporary and can last up to 6 months.

Botox has many different uses in the medical world, from cosmetic procedures to the treatment of neurological conditions like strokes. Its benefit lies in the product’s ability to reduce symptoms caused by muscle tightness such as pain, stiffness, or an undesirable appearance.

New Uses for Botox

In addition to the ways, Botox has historically been used to treat certain conditions, new uses for Botox have emerged. In many cases, Botox is an alternative treatment to surgery or a more convenient way of addressing a concern.  It is important to note these uses are not yet FDA approved and are used at the discretion of both the doctor and patient.

Vertical Lip Lines –  “Smoker’s lines” or “lipstick lines” are vertical lines that appear around the mouth due to aging, genetics, or repetitive facial movements caused by smoking. By injecting a small amount of Botox into the muscle above the lip, muscle action is reduced. It is often used along with a dermal filler, which restores volume and minimizes the appearance of the lines. Together the botox and the dermal fillers temporarily reduce the vertical lines. Botox must be carefully administered in this area as over-treatment can cause asymmetry of the lips and/or inability to fully close the mouth.

Neck Bands – Neck bands or “platysma bands” are vertical lines of sagging skin and/or muscle on the neck. Botox is a non-surgical treatment alternative where very small amounts of Botox are injected into the platysma muscle to relax the muscle and thus reduce the appearance of the band. Repeated treatments are required to maintain the desired look.

Gummy Smiles – Gummy smiles are smiles where a large section of gum (usually up to half an inch) is exposed when a person smiles. A gummy smile can result when a patient has a very thin upper lip or when the upper lip muscle is hyperactive – both of which can make the gum more prominent when the patient smiles. Botox can be injected into the upper lip, causing reduced lift and less gum to show when the patient smiles. This procedure is quick (under 20 minutes) and can last up to 6 months. It is often combined with a dermal filler if the cause is a thin upper lip.

Teeth Grinding – Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of teeth which usually occurs unconsciously while we are sleeping. Overactivity of the jaw muscles causes unconscious clenching of the jaw, leading to jaw pain, headaches, wearing of teeth enamel and gum issues. Botox is injected directly into the jaw muscles, allowing them to relax and thus eliminating teeth grinding. Botox is an alternative option to wearing a mouth guard.

Jaw Slimming – Botox can be an effective way to slim the jaw if enlarged mastication muscles are the reason your jaw appears prominent, disproportionate or asymmetrical. These muscles can become enlarged if you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, resulting in a squared jaw line. Botox temporarily restores the jaw line to a smooth, oval shape by relaxing the muscles and thus reducing their size. Botox treatment in this area typically lasts a little longer – up to 8 months.

If you are experiencing any of these concerns and are looking for an alternative to traditional treatments, Botox could be right for you. Call us today at (561) 833-4122 to book your free consultation with Dr. Fredric Barr – a board-certified, accomplished plastic surgeon who has made guest appearances on the Dr. Oz Show.