June 24, 2022
A lot of people these days are looking for opportunities to enhance their appearance and inject a healthy dose of confidence into their outlook. On that note, BOTOX injections (botulinum toxin) have become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. Although this aesthetic intervention is well known for reversing the effects of aging, you may be surprised to learn it didn’t start that way. In fact, it was originally used for an entirely different purpose! If you’ve been considering BOTOX in Whitinsville, read on to learn more from your dentist about the origins of this treatment and how it came to be what it is today.
What Is BOTOX?
BOTOX (botulinum toxin) is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. An infection with this bacterium results in botulism which is a rare but disabling paralytic illness. It starts by paralyzing the facial, mouth, and throat muscles before spreading to the rest of the body. Botulism can be fatal if it reaches the muscles used in breathing. Although Clostridium botulinum comes in multiple strains, only serotypes A and B are used to create clinical preparations.
How Does BOTOX Work?
When injected into the muscle, botulinum toxin causes paralysis, which helps smooth wrinkles and stop spasms. Additionally, it interferes with the release of pain and inflammatory mediators which is why it can treat migraine headaches as well. The effects of BOTOX last for about 120 days before the nerves regenerate. The restored functionality of nerve endings is why some people get serial treatments in the same spots.
The Origins of BOTOX
Clostridium botulinum was first discovered by a Belgian scientist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem after a botulism outbreak in 1895. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that scientists began attempting to isolate the botulinum toxin. It was finally isolated into crystalline in the 1940s by Dr. Edward Schantz.
Once that happened, researchers and doctors across the country began experimenting with it to address a wide range of medical conditions. In the 1970s, it was used to treat uncontrollable blinking, spasming, and even crossed eyes. Over the years, researchers found that BOTOX uses are diverse including treatment for cervical dystonia and excessive sweating.
What BOTOX Is Used for Today
During early clinical trials, patients receiving BOTOX injections realized it helped reduce the appearance of wrinkles on their forehead. As you can imagine, that’s when BOTOX entered the realm of cosmetic procedures. Although most people know this treatment helps minimize wrinkles and fine lines on the face, the FDA has also approved it for:
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
- Cervical dystonia
- Underarm sweating
As you can see, BOTOX has come a long way since its discovery. Today, experts are studying the positive effects it has on patients with TMJ dysfunction, acne scarring, keloids, and hypertrophic scars. At this rate, there’s no telling what benefits this cosmetic procedure will provide in the future!
About the Author
Dr. Jason Tubo earned his dental doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He attained Fellowship with the American Dental Implant Association in 2010 and then Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry in 2017. If you are considering BOTOX in Whitinsville, Dr. Tubo and his fellow dentists are highly trained, and they’ll customize your treatment plan. Schedule an appointment on our website or call (508) 234-8107.
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