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Dear Dr John, what is muscle relaxant injection (Botox) and what does it do for migraines, excessive sweating and teeth grinding?

Botulinum Toxin Type A is a muscle relaxant that is a natural, purified protein that relaxes the muscles. It can be used for cosmetic purposes to relax unwanted lines and make skin look younger and smoother, but did you know it can be used medically to treat migraines, excessive sweating and teeth grinding?

Chronic migraine is when you have 15 or more days of migraine in one calendar month. The injection is inserted into where you have tension in your head or neck and it paralyses the nerve terminals in the skin that are associated with the cause of pain, resulting in no more migraines.

Excessive sweater? Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating, usually for your underarms but it can also be used on other areas of the body. The injection blocks signals to the sweat glands thus reducing excessive sweating.

Teeth grinder? Bruxism is the medical term for grinding and not only does it cause damage to the teeth them self, grinding also impacts the jaw joint and muscles. Over time, bruxism can also lead to the wearing down of your teeth, causing pain in the jaw joints or loosening of the teeth. Muscle relaxant injections target part of the mechanism involved in muscle contraction. This reduces the ability of the muscle to contract with the same strength, reducing tension placed on jaw joint and surrounding tissue.

Botulinum toxin Type A is also used for cosmetic purposes to relax unwanted lines usually in the frown, forehead and crow’s feet area. There are other areas where you could relax your muscles, eg. a gummy smile, bunny lines on the nose, on your chin and when you want to flip the top lip.
Muscle relaxants usually last for about three to four months depending on individual patients.

If you’d like more information about this precedure and how we can help you, contact the clinic for further information and to see if this treatment is right for you.

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