6 Surprising Uses for BOTOX®

A woman smiles after receiving dermal fillers to treat her gummy smile.

Are you self-conscious about smiling because it reveals more of your gums than your upper teeth? That’s called a gummy smile and it’s one of the many conditions effectively treated with BOTOX. Yes, BOTOX. The wrinkle-reducing injection is actually somewhat of a wonder drug that’s used to treat multiple cosmetic and medical conditions.

Even though we most often use BOTOX at our Birmingham, AL, practice to minimize crow’s feet, worry lines, and other wrinkles, in this blog post we’ll identify treatments that most people don’t know about.

What Can BOTOX Treat?

The list of conditions that BOTOX can treat seems to grow every year as researchers study the effectiveness of its active ingredient, botulinum toxin. When purified and used in small doses, botulinum toxin temporarily inhibits muscle contractions in the muscle in which it is injected, with results lasting 3 to 4 months in most cases.

Gummy smiles: The causes of a gummy smile vary, and BOTOX isn’t the right treatment choice in all cases. For example, some gummy smiles are caused by gums that extend over the upper teeth, usually requiring surgery to correct. In many cases, however, an overactive muscle elevates the upper lip too high and causes smiles to show more gums than teeth. Strategic injections of BOTOX relax the muscle so that you can still smile without revealing so much of the gums above the teeth.

Jaw reduction (also called jaw slimming): Patients who want to create a more V-shaped facial appearance get BOTOX to reduce prominent masseter muscles in the upper jaw. These muscles—called the chewing muscles because they’re used to chew food—can become overdeveloped and cause a face to look square or boxy.

TMJ: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a painful condition that often includes many other symptoms. It’s not clear what causes TMJ, but BOTOX injections relieve many of its symptoms, including jaw tension, headaches due to tooth grinding, and lockjaw in cases of severe stress. BOTOX reduces the hyperactivity of the jaw and related muscles that are working too hard and helps break the cycle of chronic pain.

Excessive underarm sweating: If you suffer from hyperhidrosis—excessive underarm sweating—it’s likely you’ve been in professional or social situations where you were self-conscious about raising your arms. Not only can this condition be embarrassing, but it can also be costly to replace shirts and blouses marred by sweat stains. BOTOX injections block nerve signals responsible for sweating, stopping the sweat glands from producing too much sweat.

Chronic migraines: BOTOX is approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraines, which is defined as experiencing debilitating headaches at least 15 days each month. Once you’ve been diagnosed with chronic migraines, BOTOX is injected to prevent the onset of the headaches.

Urinary incontinence: This condition affects women more than men and it should be evaluated by a physician to determine the underlying cause. That said, BOTOX injections can help prevent accidental urination by relaxing muscles in the bladder.   

To ensure your procedure is safely performed, it’s important to find a physician or plastic surgeon in the Birmingham, AL, area with the training to use BOTOX for your specific concern. You can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (205) 933-9308 to schedule an appointment to learn more about our other medical spa procedures.

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