Is Teeth Grinding Genetic?

Many people grind their teeth, whether they know it or not. Though you may not notice it during your sleep, the symptoms and after-effects can be very destructive. In addition to being bad for your dental health, teeth grinding can also cause discomfort and sleep disruptions. So what exactly causes this phenomenon and how can it be stopped?

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism, colloquially called ‘teeth grinding’ occurs as a result of clenching the jaw. Although it most typically occurs during sleep, it can also present when people are awake and conscious. While commonly viewed as merely a nervous habit, Bruxism can have serious consequences if left untreated. It often turns habitual, causing extensive damage to the teeth and oral health. People who suffer from this affliction are prone to developing Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ).


There are a variety of factors that can contribute to grinding one’s teeth. Stress and anxiety are certainly the main causes, but sleep disorders can also play a largely causal role. Additionally, the anatomy and physiology of the mouth and jaw can make quite a large impact. Having missing or crooked teeth or having an abnormal bite are equally likely to cause a person to develop bruxism. Smokers and people who excessively consume alcohol have also been found to be nearly twice as likely to develop this habit.


The most common symptoms include:
-soreness of the jaw
-loose, fractured, or painful teeth

Genetics: Do They Play a Role?

Evidence strongly indicates that this practice is genetic. Teeth grinding tends to run in families. Increased hormone levels in family members has been shown to be a trend in those affected by it. Variations to certain genes as well as morphisms in neurotransmitters (particularly where serotonin is concerned) in the brain have also been shown to be both hereditarily passed down, as well as common occurrences in people who report grinding their teeth.

Treatment and How to Stop It

The easiest yet most effective solutions to the problem of habitual teeth grinding is to pay a visit to your dentist. He or she will be able to discuss options with you, but typically the first step in treating the habit and its negative effects is to design a custom-made mouthguard. Wearing one of these, typically while sleeping, has been shown to significantly reduce teeth grinding.

In more severe cases or for increased comfort while becoming accustomed to the oral apparatus, the dentist or physician may advise you to take a muscle relaxant tablet before bedtime. The muscle relaxant will aid you in becoming comfortable wearing the mouthguard. This is especially useful for those whose symptoms are the result of stress. Counseling, meditation, and other relaxation techniques are other holistic remedies that you can take up on your own.

If you are suffering from Bruxism, schedule an appointment to come see us today. Here at Dana Walters DDS we specialize in bruxism treatment and prevention and will help stop this bad habit in no time.


How Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth

A mouthguard is often the first line of defense to protect against dental trauma. Mouthguards can be used for more than just sports; they also prevent teeth grinding, enhance teeth whitening and improve general dental health. There are many benefits to wearing a mouthguard that can benefit more than just athletes; 

Prevent Trauma

Many sports require athletes to wear mouthguards to protect their teeth. A bad fall or a ball to the face could prove detrimental to teeth and gums if they are not protected. Any sport involving physical contact can be dangerous.

Fixing teeth that have been knocked out or displaced is costly and painful. A crown, implant or bridge can be installed to replace missing teeth. The minimum cost for each service is around $500. In comparison, a mouthguard has an average minimum cost of $100 and requires much less time and maintenance. Using a mouthguard can prevent you from wasting lots of time and money, as well as save you from a lot of mouth pain. 

Aside from contact sports, you should consider wearing a mouth guard if you plan to participate in other high-risk activities like skiing or mountain biking. Accidents happen, and you never want to risk hurting your teeth. 

Prevent Teeth Grinding

Mouthguards help adults and children who suffer from bruxism.  They grind down their teeth and cause hypersensitivity that makes eating or speaking difficult. If they have dental fillings or implants, bruxism can shorten their lifespan and you will need replacements sooner rather than later. 

A mouthguard does not cure bruxism, but it does reduce its’ harmful effects to the body. This includes reducing strain to the jaw and muscles around the mouth. 

When to Work With a Dentist

Mouthguards are often available for purchase in sports stores, but these are one-size-fits-all designs. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard for your teeth. The device fits into the mouth perfectly without any discomfort and is made based on molds taken of your mouth. Custom-made mouthguards contain softer, more comfortable materials than the store-bought ones. 

A mouthguard is a smart investment to protect your teeth and smile. By investing in this preventative dentistry, you may save yourself lots of pain, time, and money down the line. It is important to work with your dentist to get the most effective mouthguard for you. For a consultation or to learn more about the services, contact the office of Dana Walters DDS today!. 


The History Of The Toothbrush

The toothbrush is one of your best tools when it comes to maintaining your oral health. Nowadays, the toothbrush is a common household item, but the toothbrush we know today has greatly changed over time. Where did the toothbrush originate? Let’s explore its’ history; 

Before the toothbrush we know today, there were chew sticks. Chew sticks were found in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. They were made from soft, frayed twigs whos’ ends somewhat resemble bristles. While the Mesopotamians and Egyptians used chew sticks, the Greeks and Romans used toothpicks for similar functions.

The toothbrush we know today can be traced back to China. Originating in the Tang Dynasty, these early brushes were made from coarse hog bristles. The bristles were attached to a handle made of bone or bamboo. The toothbrush spread as people traveled from China to Europe and was eventually adopted by the Europeans in the 17th century. The Europeans adapted the brush, switching from hog bristles to horse hair, making it softer and easier on the teeth.

The toothbrush was first mass-produced by William Addis. Addis was jailed for rioting in 1770. While in jail, he noticed that using a rag and salt (the normal for dental hygiene at the time) was an ineffective way to keep his teeth clean. He took a small animal bone, leftover from one of his meals, drilled holes in it and attached bristle like tufts. He sealed the entire brush with glue.

As Addis began to mass produce, the toothbrush industry took off. Mass production of brushes soon became popular in England, France, Germany, and Japan. Addis’s company remained in his family for hundreds of years until 1996. Wisdom Toothbrushes, as it is called today, continues to make millions of brushes every single year.

The toothbrush has come a long way in the last few hundred years. It’s hard to imagine that this common household item dates all the way back to almost 3000 BCE.

The history of the toothbrush may be ancient, but having a healthy smile will never go out of style.  Make sure to visit us at Dana Walters DDS for all of your dental needs. Call us today at (614) 771-6172!



Advantages of a dental implants

Maintaining healthy teeth is very important. While we need strong teeth to chew our food, we also want a straight, white set of teeth to give us an attractive smile that we can feel good about. Missing teeth can inhibit our ability to eat and can be embarrassing. Fortunately for those with damaged or missing teeth, your dentist can fix your smile with dental implants.

Strengthens Support for Other Dental Work

If you already have dental bridges or dentures, you know they tend to slip or shift in your mouth. Implants provide a better support system, preventing these problems, especially while you’re eating or speaking. Since the implant is more secure and fused to your jaw, all of your artificial teeth will fit better and feel more natural.

Implants are More Comfortable

There is often a degree of discomfort associated with wearing dentures. In the past, there was no choice but to simply adjust to the discomfort. Because dental implants are a more natural and permanent fit, users often don’t notice them as time goes on, making them a more comfortable and less distracting option.

Reduce the Risk of Jawbone Shrinkage

Missing teeth can cause the jawbone to shrink and lose its’ density. Getting a dental implant to fill that gap strengthens the overall continuity of your teeth, which prevents them from shifting and keeps the jawbone strong. Implants also cover holes in the jaw bone which prevent food from falling in and causing infection.

Implants are a Permanent Solution

Just like natural teeth and dentures, you will have to take proper care of your dental implants. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on what that entails. As long as you care for your implants properly, they can last throughout your lifetime. This makes them preferable to other options, which may degrade and need to be replaced over time.

A Better Eating Experience

One of the more practical benefits of receiving implants is that they will make your teeth stronger and help you enjoy eating again. When there’s a missing or decayed tooth in your mouth, it can affect how you eat and prevent you from enjoying certain foods. Once you’ve had implants, you can again eat with confidence, knowing that hard or crunchy foods won’t damage your teeth. 

You Will Smile More

Missing teeth can cause a number of problems. They can cause your remaining teeth to shift and appear crooked, which will keep you from smiling confidently. Additionally, missing teeth and the degradation that it causes in the jaw can affect how your face looks. There may be sagging and deeper wrinkles. By getting the implants, you can have a healthy smile again.

Everyone wants a smile that they’re proud of. Getting implants is a great way to restore your smile and give you better overall dental health. If you would like to learn more about the dental implants or find out if you qualify, please contact us Dana Walters DDS for a consultation.



Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Many people around the world suffer from missing teeth. Previously, the only treatment options for tooth loss were dentures and bridges. Bridges and dentures come with a variety of problems and side effects. For example, they can slip shift in the mouth making them uncomfortable and distracting. Furthermore, they needed to be a bound to teeth on either side of the gap being filled, making it hard for patients missing multiple teeth. Luckily, dental implants are a more permanent and convenient solution to this problem. 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a metal frame that is surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum. It acts as a foundation onto which crowns are mounted. Essentially, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root.

The process of getting a dental implant

The first step of getting a dental implant is visiting a dentist. People have different dental needs and characteristics. For example, the strength of the gum and the arrangement of teeth varies from person to person. Therefore, the dentist must create an individualized treatment plan for you.

A small frame made of metal or titanium is embedded in the bone socket. The frame is then fastened to the jaw by the growth of jawbone around it. Typically, the jawbone takes 6-12 weeks to heal. When the jawbone heals, a connector known as an abutment is mounted on the implant. The new tooth is then attached to the abutment.

Is getting a dental implant painful?

No. With the introduction of sedative dentistry, dental surgical procedures are no longer painful. It is possible to experience mild discomfort during and shortly after the procedure. This can be treated with over-the-counter medication.

Who needs a dental implant?

If you are looking for a lasting solution to tooth loss, a dental implant is for you. Anyone with healthy gums and enough jawbone to hold the implants can undergo the procedure. Before undergoing the dental implant surgery, you should be ready to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dental center regularly. Dental implants may be unsuitable for people with uncontrolled chronic disorders. Your dentist will evaluate your health situation and make recommendations accordingly.

Advantages of a dental implant

  • Improved appearance: A Dental implant is fitted into the jawbone making it look like natural teeth. Dentists will match the color of the crown with the color of your natural teeth.
  • They are comfortable: Unlike dentures, a dental implant cannot slip or slide in the mouth when eating or speaking. The implants are almost as comfortable as natural teeth.
  • Better oral health: A dental implant does not require a reshaping of the adjacent teeth. The natural teeth are left intact thereby enhancing their long-time health.
  • They are convenient: Unlike dentures, a dental implant does not need to be constantly removed. Unlike dentures, you do not need to apply adhesives to keep it in place.
  • They are durable: A dental implant lasts for many years. In fact, with good maintenance, it can last for an entire lifetime. 

Where can you get quality dental implants

Come see Dana Walters DDS for all of your dental implant questions and concerns. The celebrated dental center has a team of accomplished dental professionals. Most of these experts have offered dental services for more than two decades. We are committed to improving confidence, comfort, and quality of life for those who seek our services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


The Most Common Causes Of Tooth Pain

One of the most common reasons for you to see a dentist is tooth pain or discomfort. Tooth pain should never be ignored. It is often an indication that something is wrong with your oral cavity, and the problem could worsen without treatment. Here are the top reasons why you may be experiencing discomfort in your tooth. 

An Impacted Tooth

If you have wisdom teeth or third molars, then you may experience discomfort from an impacted tooth. Wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth in the lower or upper region. It is possible to have between one and four wisdom teeth, and you may need to have these teeth removed to prevent swelling in the gums and infection in the jawbone. Removing impacted teeth as fast as possible is the best way to avoid dental malocclusions because the teeth can push your other teeth out of alignment.

Infected Gum Tissue

When you have gingivitis, you will have bleeding and swollen gums and extensive tooth pain. When you suspect that you have gum disease, don’t delay treatment because the condition will get worse and can potentially lead to a loss of teeth. Our team will examine your mouth to determine what type of treatment is necessary to eliminate gingivitis. You will likely require oral antibiotics along with extensive teeth cleaning that will include scraping away the bacteria and cutting away infected gum tissue.

An Injury To a Tooth

If you chip, crack, break or dislocate a tooth, then you should seek emergency medical treatment. Experts recommend repairing a damaged tooth within an hour to avoid having dying nerves or infected dental roots. When you have a dental emergency, contact your dentist’s office with its special after-hours telephone number and prepare to go to the dental facility immediately.

Dental Decay In Your Teeth

When you have dental decay in a tooth, it will often lead to chronic or intermittent discomfort. By visiting a dental facility right away, you can have a small cavity filled right away without the need for sedation. If you have a larger cavity, then you may need to have the interior portion of the tooth removed so that you can have a customized dental crown placed over the shell of the tooth. In many cases, you can have a dental crown made and applied in one day.

Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

If you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night, this is condition referred to as Bruxism. With Bruxism, you may experience jaw pain or even broken or damaged teeth. Our facility has a specialized Bruxism treatment plan. Come visit Dr. Dana Walters DDS in Hilliard, Ohio, and you can call us at 614-771-6172 to make an appointment today.


What To Expect During Your First Dental Visit

When you have your first dental visit at our office, you might wonder what the process is like. First, the office staff will collect your insurance information along with the names of previous dentists so that your dental records are available. Any previous dental facilities that you visited will fax over your medical images and other information to the new dental facility. This will give a current dentist the information required to provide the best dental care for your specific needs.

Have Your Insurance Information With You

Make sure to bring your personal identification and insurance information with you to your first visit. This will help ensure that the dental assistants can verify everything before your appointment. Make sure to arrive early for your appointment and prepare for a thorough examination. You may need new medical images, so we can easily spot any new problem areas in the mouth and treat them accordingly.

Have a Cavity Filled

When you have a small cavity, it is possible to have it fixed immediately without any anesthetic. However, if you have a larger cavity or gingivitis you may need to return another day for treatment. For major dental decay, you may require a dental crown or root canal. If you have gingivitis, you must take oral antibiotics before having your dental roots scraped to remove bacteria. More invasive dental treatment will require using anesthesia and may require multiple appointments on different days.

Request a Tooth-Whitening Procedure

If you don’t have any apparent dental health issues, a hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque buildup. If you aren’t happy with the way that your teeth look, you can discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with the dentist. You might want to have your teeth whitened to remove the discoloration. Tooth discoloration can happen over time from poor dental hygiene practices, smoking tobacco, and eating certain foods. A tooth-whitening procedure is a simple way to combat this discoloration.

Improve Your Smile

Make sure to discuss your dental needs during your first visit and any questions or concerns you have about your treatment. There are many resources for improving your smile; applying bonding material to any chips on your teeth or creating veneers to hide the shape of a tooth are valid treatment options. Together, you and your dentist can create the perfect treatment plan for you.

You can contact Dr. Dana R. Walters in Hilliard, Ohio to schedule your first visit with our team. Our dental facility is located near to Columbus and Upper Arlington. We have been caring for dental patients for over 25 years, and we are currently accepting new patients at our facility.



Do I Need a Crown?

When You Should Consider Getting A Crown

You know it’s time to do something about that tooth of yours. Maybe it’s damaged and on the verge of breaking, or maybe it’s already cracked. Either way, you want to get it fixed so nothing worse happens to it, and to keep your natural tooth intact.

Crowns cover the entire visible surface of a tooth, and can be used for a cracked, chipped, weak, broken, or worn down tooth. It can also help support a dental bridge or denture, or even cover misshapen, uneven or discolored teeth.

Learn What Your Options Are

Do I Need Dental Crown

There are several types of crowns. Each one has its own unique benefits. You can choose from ceramic, stainless steel, resin, metal, porcelain, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.

We normally use porcelain crowns in our office for a variety of reasons. The main benefit is that they match the color of your teeth so they are virtually undetectable. We will perfectly color match your crown to fit in with your other teeth so no one will know it’s there. Porcelain crowns are durable, natural-looking and don’t cause harm to anyone with a metal allergy.

Then, there’s the single-visit CEREC crown. The good news about this one is that you can get the procedure done quicker than most crowns, which typically take two to three appointments to complete. By using advanced technology, your dentist will be able to create and attach your crown in a single appointment instead of waiting for the dental lab to create your crown based on the initial impression. This is a great option for patients looking for a quicker, more convenient solution.

What You Can Expect

At your first visit when considering a crown, your dentist will want to take a close look at your tooth and the area surrounding it. This should help him or her determine whether or not you’ll first need to get a root canal treatment, filling, or anything other treatment. You want to make sure that the tooth underneath the crown is healthy before the crown is attached.

Once a decision has been reached, your dentist will begin the process. First, he’ll numb the tooth and the surrounding gum. Then, the tooth will be sized down, so that it’s able to properly fit the crown. After this, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to the dental lab so they can create a perfectly-fitted, natural-looking crown. This will take two to three weeks, in which you will wear a temporary crown.

On your next visit, he’ll numb the area once more. At this time, the cap will be cemented onto your tooth. You shouldn’t feel any pain during this procedure.

The Benefits of Getting a Crown

Crowns make it possible to conceal certain noticeable imperfections in your teeth so you can achieve a flawless smile. This is sure to do wonders for your overall confidence and help you enjoy your smile.

If you have cracked or chipped teeth and don’t receive a cap, you could end up with some serious issues. For example, a cracked tooth could continue to crack or even fall out. This could affect the overall appearance and health of your smile. Crowns help you maintain your dental health and ensure you keep your natural teeth intact.

If you’re not pleased with your smile or if you have a tooth that’s bothering you, it’s time to take action. Schedule an appointment with us today for your smile consultation!


A Look At Some Popular Teeth Whitening Myths

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. One of the signs of a great smile are healthy, white teeth. Many people constantly search for ways to make their teeth whiter. However, when it comes to teeth whitening, there are a lot of myths that continue to circulate. With that being said, here is a look at some popular teeth whitening myths.

You Just Need Whitening Toothpaste For White TeethTeeth Whitening Myths

While there are ingredients in whitening toothpaste that could make your teeth whiter, the chemicals must be in constant contact with your teeth. You’ll have to brush your teeth for a substantially long period of time before you see any results. Whitening toothpastes can definitely help maintain white teeth, but they have shown to have a minimal impact on whitening teeth. They can’t make a drastic change overnight.

You Can Use Baking Soda

It’s true – baking soda can remove stains from your teeth. However, baking soda can also damage your tooth enamel. Research has shown that baking soda can impact the bacteria in your mouth, which could cause plaque to build up. So, we wouldn’t recommend using this method often.

Crowns Can Whiten In A Similar Manner To Teeth Whitening Procedures

Getting a crown can make that tooth appear whiter, but your dentist will usually try to match the color of your crown to your existing teeth. So, we would recommend whitening before getting a crown or filling to ensure that it matches your already-white teeth.

Strawberries Can Whiten Teeth

Strawberries contain the necessary acid to help get rid of plaque that causes your teeth to become discolored. However, strawberries do not have the necessary bleaching ingredient to change the color of teeth. You should also be aware that consuming too much acid from strawberries and other fruits may damage tooth enamel.

You Can Use A Homemade Gel

Using a homemade whitening gel can cause damage to your teeth. Remember that the materials that you are using were not designed for tooth whitening specifically. There are specific concentrations and rations of hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals used in professional teeth whitening products. You can’t just guess what ratio to use to achieve the same result and in doing so, you may damage your teeth or gums. We recommend getting a safe whitening gel from your dentist that he or she can give you with custom-made whitening trays for the best results.

The Whitening Process Is Permanent

The brightening impact of teeth whitening may last for years, but your teeth will also age as you do. Teeth can become discolored due to age, foods and drinks, lack of good oral hygiene, and other factors. While professional whitening treatments give you great results, your teeth may still begin to turn yellow as you age. However, you can slow down the process by avoiding different foods and drinks and maintaining good oral health routines at home.

Banana Peels Can Whiten Teeth

Banana peels can remove surface stains, but they cannot whiten your teeth. If you do this often without proper oral care, they could actually cause your teeth to rot because of the amount of sugar in them!

Lasers Sometimes Used During The Whitening Process Are Dangerous

The instrument often used is actually a safe LED light that is the catalyst for the bleaching products applied to your teeth. This light helps penetrate the teeth and make those chemicals work faster. Research has shown that laser treatment allows people to see whitening results in a quicker amount of time compared to other alternatives. 

Everyone Can Go Through The Whitening Process

Children should not go through the whitening process. Whitening will not fix other oral health issues you may have, such as gum disease, and we would not recommend it for people that need to fix more serious dental problems first. There are other treatment methods that may benefit you and help your teeth last that we may initially recommend instead of going through the whitening procedure. For healthy teeth, however, whitening is a great option we would recommend if you want a brighter smile!

Contact us today to schedule your teeth whitening consultation or learn more about our whitening options!


Benefits of One-Visit Crowns

Getting a Dental Crown

When it comes to tooth restoration, dental crowns are amongst the most popular treatment option. This procedure is ideal for restoring discolored, chipped, or cracked teeth. Unfortunately, the process of installing a traditional crown usually requires multiple dental visits, comprised of getting dental impressions, temporary crowns and then fitting the permanent crown. Although the process is time-consuming, the crown is nearly undetectable, and when it’s all said and done, you’ve restored your beautiful smile. However, advances in dentistry have streamlined the dental crown process to allow us to complete it in just one day.

One-Day Dental Restoration

There are two undeniable truths that exist when it comes to dental work. First, dental problems can lend themselves to insecurity in most people. Second, those who need dental work done want the process to be as effective and efficient as possible. These two maxims have led to the creation of one-visit crowns, also known as CEREC crowns. This soon-to-be new standard in dental appliances is made possible by “CAD” (computer-aided design).

Technology and Dental Work

The role that computer-aided design plays in tooth restoration is two-fold. Instead of sending a tooth impression to a lab, dental practitioners can enter the same impression data into specialized computer software. Then, your dental team uses this data to create a customized dental crown for the patient, often in as little as one hour. A milling machine facilitates the fabrication process, which produces the customized dental appliance from a single block of ceramic dental material. The biggest difference between traditional dental appliances and CEREC crowns is the type of materials used to create them. CEREC is all-ceramic while traditional dental appliances are an amalgamation of porcelain and metal, or, in some cases, all metal.

From the Patient’s Perspective

Benefits One-Visit Crowns

So, now that we have a fundamental understanding of these dental appliances let’s examine the process of installing them. If, following a dental exam, your practitioner determines that a crown is needed, the following events will occur:

  • Your dentist will numb your tooth.
  • Your tooth will be shaped to accommodate the crown.
  • An optical impression is taken of your tooth and uploaded to computer software.
  • The computer software will propose a tooth design, based on your dental impression.
  • The computer software will engage a CAM milling machine, which, in turn, grinds a ceramic block to produce the crown.
  • Your dental practitioner will cement the permanent crown to your tooth.
  • You go home with a restored, confident smile!

Scheduling a Dental Exam

Technology is playing a significant role in our lives, and now it is helping improve our smiles and self-esteem. If you have been putting off a dental restoration, you owe it to yourself to at least speak with a dental practitioner, who can evaluate the condition of your teeth, make recommendations that work with your budget, and completed in the least amount of time possible. The dental industry recognizes that many people have a degree of dental anxiety, so these procedures have been developed to make the process less scary, painful, and time consuming than they used to be. Call us to schedule your consultation today!