January 18, 2017
If you’re suffering from Sjogren’s Syndrome, you might think that you’ll be tied to medication and eye drops for the rest of your life. However, a new study just released by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons shows that Botox could now be an effective way to manage the salivary gland inflammation common with the disorder. This is exciting news for patients, especially those who suffer from frequent parotitis. By now you’re probably asking, “How does this work?” and, “Would this be right for me?”
Botox and Sjogren’s Syndrome
Botox is the commercial name for botulinum toxin, which is a refined form of a neurotoxin derived from a strain of bacteria. Over the years, Botox has garnered a reputation for being a go-to cosmetic treatment, as it has been shown to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, particularly in the face and neck. It is able to do this because once injected, it partially paralyzes the muscles, which prevents them from making the motions that cause wrinkles to form. However, Botox has also been shown to be helpful for people who suffer from chronic pain. Migraine sufferers, TMD patients, and many others have greatly benefitted from Botox, as it was able to help prevent muscles from continually tensing and causing discomfort.
This is what led researchers to believe that Botox could be a tool to help manage Sjogren’s Syndrome. People who suffer from Sjogren’s risk a buildup of saliva in their glands, and this can lead to both pain, as well as an infection. Common treatments have included everything from medication to surgery, so Botox was intended to present a new form of treatment and management, hoping that it would be able to limit the production of saliva, and therefore prevent the onset of parotitis. The researcher’s findings were very encouraging.
A patient who had been suffering from Sjogren’s Syndrome for 30 years was put on a regimen of Botox injections every three months. After 36 months of this, the patient had “no signs or symptoms of parotitis,” and, “remarkably, has not needed a course of antibiotics since her second injection and has not reported any complications or side effects.”
This is very encouraging for people, as it offers a new way to manage their condition that prevents both the pain and potential infection. Since injections are only needed every few months, it is very easy for patients to maintain, and so far has shown long-term benefits.
Where Can I Get Botox?
Obviously, being a neurotoxin, you can’t simply pick up Botox at the store and treat yourself. You need a trained medical professional who is familiar with oral anatomy and knows the correct dosage. Dr. Thomas Weil and Dr. Steve Koo of Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have been using Botox injections for both cosmetic and medical treatments for years, and their experience can help you effectively get this new treatment. A quick appointment will allow them to evaluate your condition, and decide whether Botox treatment is right for you. If it is, they can quickly and safely treat you in their office, and help you continue to manage your condition afterward.
Interested to see if Botox could help treat and manage your Sjogren’s Syndrome? If you have any questions, or want to schedule an appointment, simply call your oral surgeon in Houston today.
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