How Botox Aids in Cosmetic Dentistry?

Botox is quite a known name for all you out there. But what you are more acquainted with, is the cosmetic botox that is used for dermatological purposes. Amazingly these days, the use of dental botox are starting to gain serious momentum. This is because dentists are experts of the facial muscle and bone architecture. Their background thus equips them with the ability to achieve more natural-looking results than other Botox providers.

How does a Botox work?

To begin with, the trade name for Botox is botulinum toxin, which comes in the form of a purified protein. The mechanism of action of this protein is that it blocks the transmitters between the motor nerves that innervate the muscle. This is done without affecting the facial muscles (where it is actually injected), that is, there is no loss of sensory feeling in the muscles.

When the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle is unable to contract. That said, the dynamic motion that causes wrinkles in the skin will stop. The skin gradually starts to smooth out. In approximately three to ten days the amazing results of Botox are visible! However, this result lasts till about 3 to 4 months.

The cosmetic benefits of Botox can be reaped in the dental industry. But for correcting lip lines, puckered chins, and gummy smiles, it’s important that only the right facial muscles are treated. Failure to do so can result in visibly awkward results!

Dental Botox

A Quick Glance at the Dental Issues Addressed by a Botox:

  • 1
    Headache pain resulting from muscle tension in the head, face, and neck and/or TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome
  • 2
    Persistent clenching and grinding of the teeth
  • 3
    “Gummy” smiles due to over-retracted upper lips
  • 4
    Upside-down smiles
  • 5
    Lip lines and puckered chins

Generally speaking, the areas that commonly receive Botox are the facial wrinkles are the forehead, between the eyes, around the corners of the eyes and around the lips. In the dental field, it alleviates TMJ and bruxism cases, and also patients with chronic TMJ and facial pain. In esthetic dentistry, it is indeed a minimally invasive alternative to surgically treating the following:

  • High lip line cases
  • Denture patients who have trouble adjusting to new dentures
  • Lip augmentation
  • Orthodontic cases where retraining of the facial muscles is necessary.

It needs to be quite unfortunately stated that only approximately 10% of the dentists are trained in these procedures. On the contrary, a dentist already knows the facial anatomy and how to give an injection. The physiology, skeletal structures, vascular and nervous system of the face all known parameters for a dentist. Hence, treating dentists in this arena will create a huge scope for the cosmetic dental industry.

Bleeding Gums and its Dire Consequences

Why would the gums of an individual bleed at all? Well, the answer to this question encompasses a lost list of factors that could result in bleeding gums. Although poor oral hygiene is the biggest cause, yet more significantly, there are certain serious medical conditions that might leave your gums bleeding. Here we will discuss the health issues that might be concerned with your bleeding gums!

1. Health Problems that Could Lead to Bleeding Gums

1.1 Gums bleeding: Stress induces an immuno-suppressed state that inhibits normal coagulation process. This encourages the growth of bacterial infection within the mouth that may lead to a gingival inflammation making gums more susceptible to further build up of infections or a trauma.

1.2 Leukemia: Usually eruptions or lesions appearing on the soft tissue of your mouth, this the gum surface on both the upper and lower jaw or the inner side of the lips or cheeks are one of the first signs of Oral cancer. These eruptions are painless but are often associated with gum bleeding.

Leukemia or blood cancer can also cause bleeding from the gums, as it is a condition where there exists production of immature or non-functional leukocytes as well as platelet deficiency. Other signs and symptoms of a possible bleeding of the gums include enlargement of spleen and liver,or the lymph nodes.

1.3 Gums bleeding: HIV Infection: HIV renders the patient with a compromised immune system. Therefore an infection in the gums resulting from this condition is not unusual. When gums are under an attack, they are more susceptible to bleeding as the gums of an HIV patient (like all other body parts) remain vulnerable. HIV is not a STD (sexually transmitted disease) but also cab be transmitted from an infected mother to the baby.

HIV may give rise to a number of medical issues such as dental problems, bleeding gums, soreness in the oral cavity, infections in the tongue, lips or mouth, etc. However, this cause can be confirmed positively by serologic testing.

1.3 Anemia: Anemia is a medical condition caused by the deficiency of red blood cells in the blood. One dreadful form of anemia is pernicious anemia. It is associated with Vitamin B12 malabsorption, which might also cause bleeding from the gums.

2. Pregnancy & Other Deficiencies:

Pregnancy involves a lot of hormonal changes which might result in the inflammation of gums and their soreness too. Only a good hygiene can prevent bleeding gums during this time. However, if the condition flares up, a dental consultation is a must to avoid further complications. On the other hand, certain deficiencies such as that Vitamin C and Vitamin K can cause bleeding gums too.

3. Oral Conditions Evolving from Bleeding Gums:

A bleeding gum indicates unhealthy gums or some form of a gum disease. Gum disease occurs in three stages primarily:

3.1 Gingivitis: This is typically the earliest stage of a gum disease and is therefore easily resolved. Treatments required to deal with it are minimally invasive. Only a professional cleaning and regular brushing and flossing is enough to cure the condition. However, till the ‘gingivitis’ stage things remain under control. If not dealt with immediately, it can take a worse turn.

Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums, and this condition is treatable if diagnosed early. It is also preventable with proper oral hygiene. Risk factors like smoking, diabetes, periods of hormonal fluctuations in females, dry mouth should be totally eliminated if possible.

3.2 Periodontitis: This condition is one sequel of untreated gingivitis. It unfortunately results in loosening of the gum sockets around the teeth, which results in bleeding gums. Also due to the loosening, your tooth becomes wobbly and runs the risk of falling off any time.

Periodontitis is actually the advanced stage of a gum disease. It is also referred to as bone burrowing and obviously requires some more invasive techniques to get medically resolved. Scaling, deep cleaning especially the chewing surfaces of your teeth, removing germs and plaques from beneath the gum line etc. are some of the treatment methods adopted in order to treat a periodontitis.

3.3 Advanced Periodontitis: Periodontitis may develop further to affect the tissues and cause bone loss from your jaws too. In such serious instances, you need to see the periodontist. Treatments that involve bone and tissue regenerating techniques are usually recommended by your periodontist!

A study reviewed in 2018 on the “Prevalence of periodontal disease among seniors with teeth, age 65 and over years of age, by selected characteristics: United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey” shows the following results.

Seniors, Prevalence of Periodontal Disease

Cited: Periodontal Disease in Seniors (Age 65 and Over)

How Would You Deal With Your Bleeding Gums?

If the situation turns worse then you definitely have to see your dentist. But before doing that, especially if the problem is in its initial stages , there are certain things that you can do in order to handle the situation of bleeding gums. One of the basic things to be done is practicing a proper and good oral hygiene regime. Some other to-dos at your home are:

  • Apply a Cold compress : if the gums are bleeding from a trauma or an injury to the gum tissue, a cold compress does the job by reducing the inflammation and restricting the flow of blood thus hindering bleeding! An ice pack should be applied several times in a day with an interval of 20 minutes each time in between.
  • Rinse your mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen Peroxide is a disinfectant in itself. Using it daily proves to remove plaque, promote gum health, and stop gum bleeding. This should however be used to rinse the mouth. Swallowing is strictly prohibited.
  • Reduce your stress level: According to most researchers, emotional stress has a negative impact upon your immune system. This results in weakening of the body’s defenses to that point where it can’t even fight a gum infection. Therefore to prevent gum bleeding reducing the stress levels are really important.
  • Increase your Vitamin C intake: Foods rich in vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and help fight off the gum infections that cause bleeding gums. Oranges, carrots, and other citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and therefore good for your gums. Since they are rich in antioxidants too, they strengthen the gum tissue too.
  • Increase your intake of Vitamin K also: Vitamin K is also important because it helps your blood clot. A deficiency of Vitamin K can cause easy bleeding, and may lead to gum bleeding too. Spinach, mustard greens etc are rich Vitamin K sources.

Gum disease or gum bleeding is not a negligible issue therefore, simply because it mostly manifests painlessly! In fact blood from the gums should warn you of some serious consequences and make you take actions as soon as possible!