People who grind their teeth often think of it as just a bad habit that needs to be broken. If you grind your teeth, however, you also know it feels to wake up with a sore jaw, headaches, and earaches, and you’re not alone. About one third of the population grinds their teeth habitually.

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often caused by stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and several other factors. Constant clenching and grinding of your teeth can also contribute to TMJ dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck and wearing down of the teeth.

Beating your bruxism is a lot easier than you may think. All you need is a nightguard to prevent subconscious teeth grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards are available, and patients react differently to various styles. If one appliance doesn’t work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard as directed by your dentist will eliminate the problem.

Dr. Corbet Locke is a family dentist in Waco, Texas and treats patients with bruxism and a variety of other dental and oral conditions, as well as offers general dentistry service. Call his dental office at (254) 776-4888 to schedule an appointment.