Botox Treatment for Chronic Pain Leads to Unexpected Side Effect: Crooked Smile

10 December 2023

Brittany Ngo, 38, experienced a severe crooked smile after receiving Botox injections to alleviate chronic pain from a nerve condition. The side effect, which is known to occur in some cases, has left her unsure about future treatments.

Brittany Ngo, a 38-year-old woman suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve condition causing chronic facial pain, decided to try Botox injections as a potential treatment. While Botox is commonly used for cosmetic purposes, it has also been approved for medical conditions like migraines and teeth grinding. However, Ngo experienced an unexpected side effect: a severe crooked smile that worsened over time.

Botox as a Medical Treatment

Botox, known for its wrinkle-reducing properties, has gained popularity as a medical treatment for various conditions. It works by temporarily paralyzing or weakening muscles, reducing pain and discomfort. Medical professionals often administer Botox to treat migraines, teeth grinding, and other chronic pain conditions.

Ngo’s Experience with Botox

Brittany Ngo decided to try Botox injections to alleviate her trigeminal neuralgia symptoms. After receiving approximately a dozen injections around the area causing her pain, she noticed her smile becoming crooked. While her neurologist had warned her of a potential facial droop, the side effect continued to worsen over time.

Seeking Answers from the Reddit Community

Concerned about her condition, Ngo turned to the r/30PlusSkinCare Reddit community for advice. Many members expressed worry, suggesting she might have had a stroke or Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis. Taking their advice, Ngo consulted her neurologist again to get a proper diagnosis and guidance.

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Understanding the Side Effect

Ngo’s neurologist confirmed that she was experiencing an extreme side effect of the Botox injections and assured her that it was not a stroke or Bell’s palsy. The doctor explained that the crooked smile was likely caused by an excessive dosage of Botox in that specific area. Ngo was advised to document her condition with photos and videos for future treatments, enabling the neurologist to adjust the dosage and avoid the affected area.

Waiting for the Botox to Wear Off

Unfortunately, there is no immediate solution to Ngo’s crooked smile. The neurologist informed her that the side effect would gradually fade as the Botox naturally wears off, typically within three months. However, it could take longer in some cases. Over a month after the injections, Ngo has yet to see any improvement in her smile.

Coping with the Side Effect

Despite the challenges, Ngo has adapted to her crooked smile and has not experienced significant issues with eating. However, going out in public has become an annoyance as people often mistake her condition for a stroke. She even had to miss taking holiday photos with her family this year due to her appearance. Ngo remains undecided about whether she will undergo Botox treatment again, as she weighs the potential benefits against the risk of experiencing the same side effect.

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Brittany Ngo’s experience with Botox highlights the potential risks and side effects associated with the treatment. While Botox has proven effective for many medical conditions, it is crucial for patients and healthcare professionals to be aware of the potential for adverse effects. Ngo’s story serves as a reminder that even though Botox is widely used for both cosmetic and medical purposes, it is essential to consider the potential risks and consult with a knowledgeable professional before undergoing treatment.

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