I’ve had Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome since I was in Junior High. Stress and anxiety has always played the #1 roll in my daily jaw clenching and teeth grinding, and I have worn a bite splint at night for a couple decades. But the clenching and grinding continue.
This past week, during my 6 month dental cleaning appointment, my dentist looked at my x-rays with alarm. I have been his patient for over 25 years. The X-rays showed I had been clenching more often, and it is causing harm to my teeth, gums and nerves. It has never been determined whether my TMJ was muscular or joint related. So, my dentist recommended that I take a prescription medication called Valium for 10 days to see if I notice a difference in my jaw pain and discomfort. I have not taken any prescription medications in 4 years, and I personally do not care to take synthetically manufactured medications. But, at first I felt I should so we could get the best diagnosis for the best care plan for my discomfort. My care plan would be determined differently whether my TMJ was caused by a muscular condition or if it was joint related, so it is necessary to know.
My Dentist suggested that I try Botox therapy if it is determined to be muscular related to help “relax” the muscles around the Temporal Mandibular Joint. The first thing that came to my mind in that office was “Are You Crazy”. I didn’t know anything about Botox, what was in the product or what it truly did, except that I had seen some terrible side effects actresses exhibited who had bad experiences with the use of Botox.
This suggested form of therapy is what prompted my research on Botox, and what I found out will certainly alarm you, it did me. I will also share some natural wellness options you can try to support your muscles your jaw area and how to support occasional stress and anxiety that may be the underlying reason for clenching and grinding teeth. First, let’s take a look at what Botox really is.
What is in Botox?
BOTOX’s Generic pharmaceutical name is (onabotulinumtoxinA). Do you see anything alarming at all in this generic name? There are two. “botulinum” and “toxin”. If I see something with these two words in it, it is a serious cause for concern to research further on what these names indicate may be lurking inside the BOTOX injection.
What BOTOX is made from: “Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) is made from the bacteria that causes botulism. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles.” (2)
Ok, so now we know it is derived from the “bacteria that causes botulism“. So, let’s take a look at what Botulism is and why we should be concerned that it is used in Botox Injections.
Botulism is a foodborne illness. Back in 1919 there was an outbreak of Botulism from ripe olives form California that where canned and sold to inland states. 19 people died in three states due to this outbreak out. In 2012 it was is classified as one of the 10 deadliest foodborne outbreaks in the United states. (3) and (4). Other outbreaks of Botulism have occurred between 1919 and today as well, but I am not going to get into that much detail.
Botulism is rare, but is a very serious illness which is caused by a toxin that attached the body’s nerves. The bacteria that causes Botulism is Clostridium botulimun, also known as Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii bacteria. (5) Remember above? Part of the definition of what BOTOX does is “blocks nerve activity in the muscles.” And part of the Generic pharmaceutical name contains “botulinum” the very bacteria that causes a rare, but very serious illness that can cause death is part of the BOTOX injection.
I don’t know about you, but at this point, BOTOX injections are not an option. It’s not natural, and it appears to be playing roulette with your muscles, nerves and other body systems.
Let’s take a look at some of the side effects of BOTOX injections.
Side Effects of BOTOX
“BOTOX may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, vision problems, or dizziness within hours to weeks of taking BOTOX. ” “BOTOX® may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX” (1)
You may also experience the following:
Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months
Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing. (1)
WOW, just WOW. So, let’s break this down with my personal scenario. I have TMJ. If it is caused by muscular tension and I am subjected to BOTOX injections for this one issue, I may very well end up experiencing not just 1 issue, but possibly an onset of an additional 12 issues because of the ingredients in BOTOX, one being a loss of my life. That is not worth my life.
There Are Natural Alternatives
Are you willing to make this sacrifice to your overall wellness? Not me. I chose to research the root of my clenching and grinding, and take a natural approach, and I was immediately amazed by the results.
First, I thought deeply about the reason why my Dentist choose Valium as a prescription to relax the muscles around my Temporal Mandibular Joint, and did a bit of research on the effects of Valium and the muscles.
I found that Valium, a/k/a Diazepam, is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and muscle spasms. (6) Well, if you recall, I indicated that the root of clenching and grinding my teeth is due to stress and anxiety, and we know that my Dentist indicated that this could be muscle related. I won’t go into details here on the side effects of Valium, because it really is not something I was expecting to continue to consume either way. But I do understand now why he chose Valium as a relaxer.
As I said before, I do not care for the idea of using synthetically made pharmaceuticals for my well being. I knew immediately I did not want to continue the 10 day Valium regimen my Dentist recommended to find out whether my TMJ was muscular or joint related, but I knew it was important for my Dentist to know how to treat me.
I decided to try Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis) essential oil. Valerian Root is known for its relaxing properties, promotes calm feelings and helps with occasional nervous tension, supports the nervous system, encourages feelings of relaxation, promotes tranquility, improves sleep, and supports the musculature body system. I added 1 drop of organic Sweet Almond Oil and 1 drop of Valerian Root essential oil from Young Living Essential oils (http://www.bitly.com/yloilsjoin) on my hand and massaged the mixture starting at the TMJ area, surrounding muscles and along my entire jawline. I was personally satisfied with how the Valerian Root eased my occasional stress and anxiety, and supported the relaxation of the muscles around the TMJ area. This is day five of using the Valerian Root instead of Valium and I am very satisfied with the results.
I also learned a bit of interesting information about Valerian and Valium after the fact during my research for this article. Valerian Root is a natural herb, and Valerian essential oils’ therapeutic properties are similar to those found in the synthetically created Valium. I’ll take the natural route. How about you?
(1) Official website for BOTOX – www.botoxforab.com –
(3) Food Safety News – https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/the-ten-deadliest-outbreaks-in-history-revisited/
(5) Official Site Center For Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/general.html
(7) Essential Oils Pocket Reference, 7th Edition, from Life Science Products & Publishing
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are for educational purposes only, and we encourage you do your own research and decide what is best for your family. They are not meant to treat diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or illness.