Botox® is a trade name in the form of a purified protein. There are similar products we use that include Xeomin. The mechanism of action is really quite simple; it is injected into facial muscles but really doesn’t affect the muscle at all. It works by blocking the transmitters between the motor nerves that innervate the muscle.
Typically, it is used to treat wrinkles are the forehead, between the eyes (the lines that can make you look angry or in deep thought), around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and around the lips (smokers lines or gummy smile). There is no loss of sensory feeling in the muscles, but the muscle contraction decreases, causing wrinkles in the skin to smooth. The effects last approximately three to four months, at which time the patient will require retreatment.
Botox and Xeomin have important clinical uses as an adjunct in facial pain and bruxism cases for patients with chronic TMJ and orofacial pain.