As we age, our facial features begin to wrinkle and sag – it’s the natural progression of life. Many of us try to delay the inevitable and visit their cosmetic surgeon for Botox and/or facial fillers. What many patients don’t know is that you can get this treatment done at the dentist. But why? There are a few reasons to reconsider who is doing your anti-aging treatments.
Firstly, the differences between Botox and facial fillers. Botox is a protein injected into your facial muscles to not affect the muscles themselves, but the nerves that move the muscles. Facial fillers are injections used to replace fat and collagen in the skin.
Dental issues. Believe it or not, Botox and facial fillers help with more than a youthful look. TMJ, teeth grinding (bruxism), and other facial pain can be eased by these types of injections. This is also a way to retrain facial muscles for patients adjusting to dentures or orthodontic treatments. So, while you may think getting these injections is a cosmetic issue, many patients benefit from these injections.
One stop shop. We go to the dentist to improve our smile, because we know they are experts in making our teeth whiter, straighter and healthier. It only seems natural that we seek their help with other issues that have presented themselves around our mouth and face. Because we need muscles to smile, these injections really benefit patients that have issues doing so.
Knowledge is power. While we know that cosmetic surgeons are the ones to go to for aesthetics, dental professionals have a deep, thorough knowledge of facial anatomy and can deliver a quicker, less painful experience, which is a relief for a patient in dental pain.
We all can admit that a telltale sign of old age is wrinkles. It’s a fact of life and there is nothing we can do to reverse time. They appear in various areas on our face – one such area is the corners of our mouth. There is a muscle that attaches the corners of our mouth to the border of the lower jaw that motivates facial expression. Specifically, it allows us to frown. And if we frown a lot, we are likely to over-develop this muscle. The consequence is “jowl lines”, wrinkles from the corners of the mouth to the bottom of the lower jaw.
Unfortunately, jowl lines don’t mean you’re a grumpy person. You can get jowl lines just from unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, especially during sleep, but even during the awake hours. This unconscious habit is called bruxism. Your dentist can, with some confidence, diagnose you as having bruxism if you have obvious signs of excessive wear on your teeth that cannot be attributed to what you eat and chew. If you are told you have bruxism, don’t fight it. Excessive wear of your teeth is forensic evidence you are unconsciously doing it during the daytime, or you are doing it while you are in certain stages of sleep.
So, what do you do with this newfound habit? Well, your dentist can make you a custom, calibrated oral appliance that gives you an ideal bite. This ideal bite will lessen the tendency to clench and grind. The bite appliances are not obtrusive nor obviously visible, especially if your dentist makes it to fit over your lower teeth. To repair developed jowl lines, ask your dentist about botox injections or dermal fillers at your next checkup.