Botox is primarily known as a cosmetic treatment used to reduce lines and wrinkles on the face. In recent years studies have shown Botox to have some health benefits as well for people with certain medical conditions. For example, Botox can reduce the frequency of migraines and relieve other types of pain.
Another health benefit of Botox is its ability to provide relief from drooling in patients with Parkinson’s Disease and other conditions that affect swallowing. If you or a loved one suffers from excessive drooling due to a medical condition such as Parkinson’s, Botox may be a helpful resource to reduce this uncomfortable side effect of the disease.
What is Botox and How is it Administered?
Botox is administered by an injection that causes temporary paralysis of the muscles in the area where it is injected. The actual substance is a toxin produced by the bacteria botulinum. When it enters your body through your digestive tract, botulism can make you sick. When injected into the muscles, it simply immobilizes them to force them to relax. The injected form of Botox is safe.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, meaning it gradually breaks down the nervous system over time. It is primarily caused by loss of motor neurons, the complex system that delivers messages between the brain and the muscular system. It results in uncontrolled movements such as tremors, limited movement, stiff limbs, balance problems, and more. The disease gradually worsens over time and there currently is no cure, but there are many treatment options available to reduce the symptoms of the disease.
How Can Botox Help with Parkinson’s Disease?
Drooling, or sialorrhea as it is technically called, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. It occurs due to a decrease in the swallowing rate patients experience. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease who experience drooling often feel embarrassed by having no ability to control this side effect on their own. Drooling can be an annoyance for patients living with Parkinson’s.
According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Botox is a possible treatment to reduce unwanted drooling. When Botox is injected into the salivary glands, it can stop the salivary glands from producing saliva or reduce the amount of saliva produced. This can be extremely beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and other medical conditions that cause unwanted drooling.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The effects of Botox typically last about 3-4 months. Results may vary from one patient to another, so the only way to know for sure is to try it and see how the procedure affects you.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Using Botox to Reduce Drooling?
The most common side effects of Botox injections into the salivary glands are minimal and may include:
- Dry mouth
- A slight increase in swallowing difficulty due to paralysis of the swallowing muscles near the salivary glands
- Short-term inflammation and swelling at the injection site
Am I a Candidate for Botox?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or another disease that results in drooling, you may be a candidate for Botox. An evaluation will need to be performed to determine whether or not Botox would be a safe and effective option for the patient.
Where Can I Receive Botox to Treat Unwanted Drooling?
If you are interested in Botox to provide relief from the side effects of Parkinson’s Disease, Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, Connecticut, can help. Dr. Miller offers Botox for cosmetic and medical purposes, including treatment for drooling. Call 203-255-6878 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Dr. Donald Miller specializes in general, family, and cosmetic dentistry and is an active member of the Fairfield, CT, community. He has practiced dentistry in Fairfield for over 25 years. Get to know Dr. Miller better by visiting our website. You can also read Google Reviews submitted by patients for a personal recommendation.Other popular services provided by Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry include Invisalign, Same Day Crowns, TMJ Relief, Veneers, Dental Implants, and Teeth Whitening.