Alternative uses of Botox
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw leading to morning migraines, headaches, jaw and TMJ pain. No exact figures on the frequency of bruxism are available as over 80% of all bruxers may be unaware of the habit. For these reasons, estimates of the prevalence of bruxism range from 5% to 20%. Bruxism is the leading cause of dental damage and a significant cause of tooth loss and gum recession. It may take years for these first visible signs of worn teeth to appear.
A novel treatment for this condition is to weaken the masseter muscles of the jaw with strategically placed Botox injections. This reduces the effects of grinding and clenching, whilst preserving muscle strength. The procedure involves about five or six relatively painless injections and patients start feeling the effects the following day with migraines usually dissipating by the end of the first week. Injections must be repeated every six months but the habit is usually broken after the second treatment. An additional cosmetic benefit is facial shaping as the size of the masseter muscle is reduced. By breaking this habit, the avoidance of future dental bills which can be exorbitant, is possible.
The discovery of Botox for the use of migraines came about accidentally as patients who happened to suffer from migraines noticed that their migraines improved after cosmetic Botox injections to reduce brow and forehead wrinkles. A possible explanation is that Botox may affect nerve cell signaling systems that have to do with the perception of pain.
The procedure to improve migraines involves about ten relatively painless injections around the brow and forehead and a few additional injections into the neck and temple area. The duration of action of Botox in migraine prevention varies from about 10 to 16 weeks. Repeat injections are usually given at three to six month intervals
Two large trials of Botox use for migraines provided unequivocal proof that Botox reduced the number of days with headaches, improved multiple headache symptoms and improved the quality of life. Botox may be less expensive than standard medications and tends to have fewer side effects. An additional benefit of having Botox injections for migraines is that the upper brow and frown is relaxed, improving an angry or worried look
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive perspiration which is almost totally resistant to all the types of deodorants and other odour controlling medication. It is caused by over activity of the sweat glands and is present in 1 % of the population. A family history is present in 30 to 50 % of patients suggesting a genetic component. The condition generally starts in adolescence and hyperhidrosis can affect the hands, feet, chest or underarms which may be constantly damp. This may make normal every day activities more difficult to carry out and it can cause embarrassment at work or socially. Hyperhidrosis can create anxiety and depression in the person suffering from it.
Botox is very successful in treating this medical condition. The procedure involves painless micro injections into the skin of the affected areas mentioned above and only takes a few minutes to perform. Botox works by blocking the actions of the nerve that supplies the eccrine sweat glands which prevents the glands from producing perspiration. The effect of the treatment usually lasts between six to nine months. This treatment is done most commonly on the Palms of ones hands as well as underarm area.