15) Botox

Botox is a weak dilution of the most potent and dangerous neuro-toxin known to mankind (botulinum toxin). Botulinum toxin is considered by many to be the most dangerous biological weapon of mass destruction. In medical uses, very dilute, miniscule quantities of botulinum toxin can be locally injected to partially or fully paralyze select muscles for months at a time. Some people who have severe bruxism turn to Botox injections as a solution for their pain. There are numerous US patents issued on using botulinum toxin to treat everything from chronic cross-eyed condition to bruxism. In treating bruxism, the theory is that seldom do we need anywhere near the full strength of our jaw muscles to chew, so the theory is that if the jaw muscles are 75% paralyzed, we can still chew, but the clenching force of sleep bruxism will be substantially reduced. Botox does not typically ace to cure Bruxism, but to decrease the damage and pain that results from bruxism. The treatment is quite expensive, must be repeated every few months, and the FDA now admits it has a small chance of killing you.

Less than one tenth of one millionth of a gram of botulinum toxin will kill an adult human being. On February 8, 2008, the FDA announced that Botox has “been linked in some cases to adverse reactions, including respiratory failure and death, following treatment of a variety of conditions using a wide range of doses,” due to its ability to spread to areas distant to the site of the injection. Researchers at the Italian National Research Council’s Institute of Neuroscience also released findings in early 2008 that show that botulinum toxin injected into the faces of rats moved away from the site of the injection and could be detected just days later in brain stem cells (and later in farther reaches of the brain).

While Botox injections may represent a viable alternative for treating people whose bruxism is seizure-like and cannot be treated in other ways, the potential dangers of this treatment should be carefully considered.

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