Snoring is More Than an Annoying Sound – Part 1

sleep apnea snoring westerville oh dentist

Snoring can be an indication of a larger health problem.

Studies concerning snoring and the connection to your health have shown that the “annoying sound” can be affecting not only your health, but the health of your partner as well. This subject has such a significant impact on the health of over half of the population, that we have decided to cover it over the next few articles, discussing the causes, risks, as well as the complications and treatments of snoring.

Snoring is noise produced during sleep as air passes through the throat and causes the soft tissues to vibrate. Men, women and children all snore, though it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight. Occasional snoring is usually not very serious, and is mostly just an annoyance to anyone sleeping within earshot. If you are a habitual snorer, however, you not only disrupt the sleep quality of those close to you, but you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Fifty percent of snorers have OSA.

Heavy snorers have a significantly higher risk of carotid atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries in the neck due to fatty deposits, which increases your risk of stroke. The risk of stroke doubles in men with mild sleep apnea and triples in men with moderate to severe sleep apnea. Sleep disordered breathing can increase stroke risk by lending to or worsening hypertension and heart disease and possibly causing reductions in cerebral blood flow.

Snoring occurs when the flow of air through the nose and mouth is obstructed. Air flow can be obstructed by a combination of factors such as swollen or deviated nasal passages, narrowing of the air passage behind the throat, weight gain in the neck, large tongue or tonsils. People who have GERD (heartburn) can also have inflamed swollen throats which restrict the air flow.

Have you been told you stop breathing during sleep? Do you experience daytime sleepiness? Do you have high blood pressure? This could put you at risk for a stroke. People with OSA are twice as likely to have fatal heart attacks, arrhythmias, GERD, even accidents that injure themselves or others from daytime sleepiness.

Snoring is more than an embarrassing side effect of sleep, and should not be ignored. If you or a loved one snores, they may be at risk of OSA. If you are not sure, snoring could be a wake- up call to discuss with your doctor. A simple screening test that measures your oxygen levels and pulse during the night can help determine if you need a study conducted at a sleep lab to determine if you have OSA.

If you live near Westerville, and think you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Fojas. He can suggest a treatment that is right for you.

Snoring and Health Concerns

Snoring Westerville OH Sleep Apnea Dentist

Snoring can be an indicator of a serious breathing disorder.

Snoring can be more than just an embarrassing disturbance to those trying to sleep within earshot. It can actually be related to health issues. It turns out that people who snore run a greater risk (40%) of an earlier death than their peers. Snoring can be an indication of sleep apnea, a serious breathing disorder.

Sleep apnea has two types: central and obstructive.

With central sleep apnea, the brain will stop sending signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common of the two, is caused by the relaxation of muscles in the throat.

Snoring/sleep apnea can be connected to these other health issues:
Weight Gain
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Heart Disease

If you live in the Westerville, OH area and suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, contact Dr. Fojas for a consultation to find out what treatment options are best for you.

Can You Change The Shape Of Your Teeth?

Dr. Fojas can re-shape your teeth to give you a beautiful smile.

Dr. Fojas can re-shape your teeth to give you a more beautiful smile.

Have you ever wondered whether you could change the shape of your teeth and what options are out there? There are ways to close gaps between your teeth, make your teeth look longer, repair teeth that may be damaged by chips or cracks. These things can be accomplished by re-contouring, veneers, bonding and dental crowns.

Reshaping or recontouring of the teeth, also referred to as stripping, slenderizing, odontoplasty and enameloplasty is accomplished by taking off small amounts of enamel from the teeth. This removal of the enamel can change the tooth’s length and shape of the surface.

Dental porcelain laminates, commonly known as veneers, are a custom-made thin shell that covers the front surface of your teeth. This shell is made of a tooth-colored material that is bonded to your teeth.

Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored resin material that is bonded directly to your tooth’s surface that is hardened with a special light.

Crowns totally cover the entire tooth down to the gum line. They are tooth-shaped caps that are placed directly over the tooth.

If you are interested in any of these procedures call Dr. Fojas’s Westerville, OH dental office to discuss your options further. Dr. Fojas would be happy to advise you on the best approach to solving your cosmetic problem such as durability, chair time, cost, etc.

Dental Sealants Can Protect The Teeth From Decay

A dental sealant is a thin, painted on plastic coating that is usually applied to the molars and premolars.  This liquid coating adheres to the grooves and depressions in the teeth, which in turn acts as a shield over the enamel of each tooth preventing decay. Primarily children between the ages of 6 to 14 get sealants, which protect their teeth during the cavity prone years.  Adults who do not have decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from this procedure. These dental sealants are only visible up close and can be clear, white, or slightly tinted.

Dental sealants prevent germs and food particles from settling in the grooves of the teeth with a covering of a safe plastic coating.  These sealants, however, do not replace the fluoride that one receives from toothpaste, mouth wash or the community water supply.

Dental sealants

Fluorides and sealants used together can help prevent tooth decay.

Having Dr. Fojas apply dental sealants in our dental office in Westerville, Ohio could prevent tooth decay for up to 10 years, but the need for regular dental check-ups with Dr. Fojas are imperative to observe any wearing or chipping that may occur.

When you seal a tooth you prevent possible decay and the need for filling the cavity, which damages the tooth permanently.  When a tooth is filled, which is not permanent, more drilling needs to be done and that tooth becomes weaker.  Sealants can save you the discomfort experienced with dental fillings and saves you time and money as well.

Check the ADA website for more information about sealants.

Do Whitening Toothpastes, Whitening Strips and Whitening Gels Work?

The mild abrasives in all toothpastes will help remove surface stains from your teeth. With whitening teethwhiteningwestervilleohtoothpastes they typically contain chemical or polishing agents that offer additional effectiveness in stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help remove some surface stains and there is no bleaching element in the toothpaste formulation.

With over-the-counter professional whitening products they contain a bleaching substance of hydrogen peroxide to help get rid of stains on the surface of the teeth, as well as stains that may be deep in the tooth. The strength of home use whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter products cannot come close to producing the same whitening effect you can get from Dr. Fojas’ office in Westerville, OH through our chair side teeth bleaching or power teeth bleaching.

With whitening toothpastes the most you may be able to lighten your tooth’s color is by about one shade. With light-activated whitening conducted in our dental office, we can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter. A big difference in teeth whitening results!

Both whitening strips and whitening gels that you can get in the store contain a concentration of peroxide that is much lower than the dental grade products used in our dental office in Westerville. Although some teeth lightening will be achieved with strips and gels, the level of whitening will be much lower than the results achieved with in-office or Dr. Fojas-supervised whitening systems.

Also, when you use over-the-counter products you do not benefit from having the close supervision of your dentist to not only determine the best teeth whitening process for you but also check the progress your teeth whitening, and make sure there is no indication of gum irritation.

Learn more about teeth whitening options here.

Junk Food and Your Oral Health

Too much junk food can lead to severe oral health problems that in turn can effect the rest of your body.

Although junk food can be a treat every so often, these foods can lead to severe oral health problems that in turn can effect the rest of your body.

At the office of Augusto S. Fojas, DDS, it’s very important to us that we help our patients in Westerville live healthy lives. Although junk food can be a treat every so often, these foods can lead to severe oral health problems that in turn can effect the rest of your body. Many people do not realize that our oral health and overall health are linked in several ways

We all know, large amounts of sugar can cause cavities and increases your risk for gum disease. But did you know gum disease can also cause a systemic inflammatory response which can increase risk of heart disease and other inflammatory conditions as well as weaken your bone structure?

Sugar is found in excess in fizzy soft drinks and confectionaries. Candies, sodas, flavored waters, energy drinks, and sports drinks are also loaded with high fructose corn syrup which is unhealthy for your teeth and bad for your body. This makes them very high in calories and low in nutritional value.

Also beware of “diet” drinks which have high acid levels that contribute to the breakdown of your tooth enamel. You can greatly increase your oral and overall health by simply limiting your consumption of these food items

Visit the American Dental Association for more information on proper oral health.

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Am I Supposed to Brush My Tongue?

Germs that cause gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay live in groups. The problem caused by bacterial colonization is the production of foul odors. However,

 Because foul odors originate from bacteria, an unclean tongue is a major source of bad breath, or halitosis.

Because foul odors originate from bacteria, an unclean tongue is a major source of bad breath, or halitosis.

The surface of the tongue is covered with many little tissue projections called papillae.  Papillae serve various functions such as detecting taste and they also provide protection for bacterial colonies. Because foul odors originate from bacteria, an unclean tongue is a major source of bad breath, or halitosis.

Probably the most effective time for brushing and/or scraping the tongue for the management of halitosis is when brushing the teeth in the morning. Brushing the tongue is also an effective way to handle halitosis. It also reduces overall amount of germs in the mouth to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.


Some dentists also advocate scraping the tongue routinely with special tools as treatment for halitosis.

Some general tips:

  • Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from gumline.
  • Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
  • Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

You can visit animated-teeth for more information on brushing your tongue.

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Foods and Beverages That Stain Your Teeth

Our teeth are composed of enamel and acts as a protective barrier that prevents cavities and tooth decay and also give your teeth their white color.

Certain foods and beverages we eat and drink everyday can break down the enamel in our teeth and cause stains.  This can be caused by artificial food colorings and the acidity levels like in coffee, tea and cola.  These beverages can discolor your teeth due to their darkly colored pigments.

Microscopic ridges on each tooth can catch residue from these beverages,  and can cause discoloration. Colas also contains high levels of acidity and they can actually break down the enamel in your teeth.

Several processed foods that we eat can also cause staining due to the food coloring in these products.  This includes fruit juices, popsicles and even tomato sauce.  For more examples of foods that can stain your teeth.Foods & Beverages That Stain Teeth

One of the most common questions from my patients is how they can whiten their teeth and brighten their smile due to the staining from foods and beverages.  I often tell my patients who are not sure which foods and beverages could stain their teeth to go by this rule of thumb: If it stains your carpet, it can stain your teeth!

Maintaining your regular brushing and flossing is the best way to eliminate discoloration and keep your smile bright.

For those with stained teeth that brushing alone will not get white enough, another great option is teeth whitening. Products like Zoom! whitening works wonderfully on  patients I see in our Westerville, OH office who’s teeth are much whiter in as little as an hour! Talk with your dentist for more information on wether whitening is right for you.

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Dentistry Throughout the Ages: A Worm, A Queen & A Barber Pole

Much of the history of dentistry is pretty intriguing. From the first recorded ‘doctor of the tooth’, Hesy-Re, an Egyptian who lived around 2600 BC; to the father of modern dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, who, in 1728, was the first to apply a jeweler’s enamel over a thin gold plate, to Aristotle, the famous philosopher, who wrote of an ancient form of braces to straighten teeth.

Fun facts from this fascinating dental history – here are a few more:Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.01.06 PM

Due to a popular and ancient myth, Queen Elizabeth believed in something called a ‘dental worm’ that burrowed into teeth and caused sharp pain. To combat this ‘worm” she consumed copious amounts of sugar! She was known to have discolored teeth!

During the Tang Dynasty, the first bristle toothbrush was invented in China and was made from stiff hogs hair!

The earliest known example of dental implants is the Maya Civilization. They used sea shells to replace teeth. (implants placed into the bone or, in this case, the mandible).

From the 5th to the 15th century you could have your dental work done by your barber! ‘Barber-surgeons’ could give you the latest style and pull a few teeth while your hair was drying! This combination profession often performed surgery on the battlefield and in their shops. This the reason barber poles are red and white today!

To learn more about dental history visit the American Dental Association and check out the historical facts dentistry has to offer.

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Top 9 Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth

tumblr_mf3shlmCYn1rsl27po1_1280.jpg you grab that snack to eat, it may be the bag of chips you’ve had your eye on, or a chocolate chip cookie, you should know that it may be contributing to tooth decay!

Below, we’ve listed the top 9 foods that can damage your teeth. You can find even more foods you should avoid by visiting

  • Chewing Ice: Surprisingly, your teeth can feel vulnerable after chewing on ice. Since it’s a hard substance, it could damage tooth enamel.
  • Hard Candies: Sweet and delicious but are full of sugar! Did you know they also can contribute to a dental emergency, such as a broken tooth?
  • Sticky foods: Sticky foods, like gummy bears and jelly beans, are more likely to stay on your teeth longer. Tooth decay and other aliments can occur over time. Be sure to brush your teeth and floss after eating these types of foods.
  • Crunchy foods: The classic potato chip is full of starch, which can get trapped in your teeth and can potentially cause damage.
  • Citric fruits and juices: Frequent acidic food intake could be very harmful to your teeth.  Acidic foods can erode tooth enamel over time, making you more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol in excess causes dehydration and dry mouth, which can lead to a reduced saliva flow. A dry mouth is more likely to allow in cavities and other oral infections, like gum disease.
  • Coffee: Adding sugar to your morning coffee can do more harm than good. It can also dry out your mouth and stain your teeth over time.
  • Sugary drinks: Soft drinks have always been known for being consumed with high amounts of sugar. Over time, plaque bacteria uses sugars from those drinks to attack your tooth enamel.
  • Sports Drinks:  They’re great for athletes, but it does have high amounts of sugar. Cavities are more likely to occur if its consumed frequently.

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