How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

PREGNANCY AFFECTS NEARLY every aspect of your life–your lifestyle, your diet, your health, and much more! Your mouth is no exception to the changes your body may experience during pregnancy. During this special time, you’ll need to pay particular attention to your oral health for both your sake and your growing baby’s.

You May Be More Prone To Dental Problems

One of the main concerns we have for expectant mothers is what we call pregnancy gingivitis. Around 40 percent of pregnant women have some form of gum disease–gingivitis being the first stage. Because of raised hormone levels during pregnancy, you may be more sensitive to dental plaque than before, causing your gums to be sensitive, swell and bleed. Studies have linked mothers with gum disease to premature delivery and lower birth weights.

In about five percent of pregnancies, women may experience lumps along the gum line and in between teeth. Luckily, these swellings are harmless and usually go away after baby is born. Even though these are known as “pregnancy tumors,” there is no need to be alarmed as they are not cancerous and can be easily removed by your dentist.

Morning sickness can also cause dental woes for expectant mothers. Pregnant women often complain of sensitive gag reflexes and even routine tasks such as brushing and flossing can induce vomiting. Exposure to acid, especially strong stomach acid, can lead to tooth enamel erosion, decay and sensitivity. After vomiting, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize stomach acid and prevent any damage to teeth.

Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy

To protect your teeth during pregnancy, one of your first stops should be the dentist’s office. If you are planning on getting pregnant, talk to your dentist beforehand so you can fix any dental issues before conceiving. And when you do find out that you are pregnant, don’t just go to your OB/GYN, make your way to the dentist’s as well!

Routine cleanings and checkups are safe during pregnancy, and as you may be more susceptible to certain dental problems at this time, getting frequent cleanings is a must. You will also need to be diligent about your oral hygiene at home. As always, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

Another thing to remember is that your diet matters. Did you know that baby’s teeth start developing between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? You will need plenty of nutrients–specifically vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous–to make sure their teeth, gums and bones develop properly.

Mothers, We Are Here For You

Pregnancy can bring with it a lot of change and responsibility, but we want our patients to know that we are here for you. We want to make sure that your dental health is taken care of so you can focus on preparing for your little one to come into the world. So whether you’re planning on becoming pregnant or already are, we’d love to see you in our office!

Our patients mean the world to us!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Your Oral And Overall Health Are Linked

WE’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND WE’LL SAY IT AGAIN… taking care of your teeth and mouth is more than just about cosmetics, it’s about your health! When you think of being healthy, your mouth probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But your oral and overall health are more intertwined than you think.

Your Mouth Is The Gateway To The Rest Of Your Body

According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2000 report, “Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. … As the gateway of the body, the mouth senses and responds to the external world and at the same time reflects what is happening deep inside the body. … You cannot be healthy without oral health.”

Periodontal Disease And Its Connection To Chronic Diseases

Not only can many illnesses and medications have a direct effect on your mouth, your oral health can also affect your body. This is especially true of periodontal or “gum” disease.


Did you know that gum disease affects 22 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes? People with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria and are thus more susceptible to gum disease. In like manner, bacteria from the mouth can cause blood sugar to spike and fluctuate, making diabetes harder to manage.

Heart Disease

While health care professionals aren’t completely sure as to why, heart and gum disease often go hand in hand. In fact, up to 91 percent of patients with heart disease have gum disease. It is believed that the link between these two conditions is inflammation.


These statistics may surprise you, but researchers have found that men with gum disease were 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

What’s more, cancer treatments often have oral manifestations. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause sores in the mouth, sensitive gums, jaw and facial pain and dry mouth.

Other Complications

Gum disease has also been linked with stroke, kidney disease, osteoporosis, certain lung conditions and rheumatoid arthritis. Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to have preterm births and low birth-weight babies.

The Health Of Your Mouth Is In Your Hands

As you can see, there is a strong connection between oral and overall health. That’s why it’s important to make your dentist a part of your health care team by going to your regular dental appointments and updating them on your medical history. We care about your whole body health!

The good news is that, for the most part, dental disease is entirely preventable. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can keep gum disease at bay and protect you from cavities. Your oral health is in your hands, so choose to be mouth-healthy!

Thank you for supporting our practice!

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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Four reasons we love take home whitening

Take home whitening kits are one of the most popular solutions the Omni Dental team provides to patients in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake.

Here are four reasons why we like it:


Take home whitening kits take you out of the dentist’s chair and into the comfort of your own home. You can whiten your teeth while you’re watching TV or checking emails. Take home whitening means you can maximize your time while maximizing your smile’s potential.

Gradual Whitening

If you want a white smile, but you don’t want everyone to know you have undergone a teeth whitening procedure, take home whitening is the optimum solution for you. Take home whitening kits will gradually whiten your teeth, meaning that your results are just as stunning as in office solutions, but without the immediate, noticeable change.

Complete Control

Take home whitening systems mean that you are completely in control of the results. If your teeth have reached the level of white that you desire, you can put the kit away and save the rest of the course for touch-ups later down the line.

Budget Friendly

Take home whitening kits are more budget friendly than in-office solutions, meaning that you can get white teeth at a price that will make you smile.

Ready for the best smile of your life? Omni Dental are waiting to hear from you! Contact us at our Council Bluffs and Carter Lake office today to reserve your take home whitening consultation.

Bruxism – A Real Kick in the Teeth

Bruxism, also known as the grinding and or clenching of your teeth, is a common yet sincerely frustrating and painful condition. Left untreated, it can also lead to unnecessary further complications such as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) along with pain and discomfort in other areas, causing headaches, facial pain and discomfort when eating or drinking.

There are a variety of causes for Bruxism, and the symptoms experienced can be brought on by anything from bad nutrition and unhealthy sleep habits to overwhelming physical and emotional stress. The severity and duration of Bruxism can vary in each person depending on individual circumstances, but overall… the treatment is usually simple for the vast majority of cases.

Causes of Bruxism may include:

  • Current or anticipated stress. People who experience stress, both physically and emotionally tend to carry that tension to bed causing them to grind, gnash or clench at night
  • Suppressed anger, frustration and aggression
  • Misaligned upper and lower teeth (malocclusion). Although there is no conclusive reason as to why malocclusion may cause Bruxism, doctors have found that it is prevalent among some sufferers
  • Those experiencing depressive or anxiety based disorders are also more likely to suffer Bruxism, and although very uncommon, medications used to treat these conditions can sometimes be an unlikely contributor towards Bruxism
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia, parasomnia and nightmares / terrors
  • Bruxism can be a result of complications stemming from Huntington’s or Parkinson’s Disease
  • Stimulating substances such as caffeinated drinks / food, alcohol, and drugs including methamphetamine and ecstasy may increase the risk of Bruxism
  • Age; Bruxism is extremely common in children, and typically reduces fully by adolescence

Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Grinding sounds at night
  • Dull headaches, especially in the morning
  • Tight, tired or painful jaw muscles
  • Worn down, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity towards hot, cold or sweet foods / drinks
  • Anxiety, stress or tension
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Facial pain
  • Insomnia
  • Earache

So what can you do if you’re experiencing these symptoms?

Figuring out the source of your pain is the first step to resolving it. Bruxism caused by physical and emotional stress is often a case of making a few small yet effective changes to your lifestyle or routine such as:

  • Creating a relaxing night time routine, suggestions include light yoga, a warm bath, or herbal tea. Some people say placing a warm cloth or towel over their jaw helps to reduce grinding and clenching whilst also soothing any existing tension.
  • Reducing your intake of stimulating substances

Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist may give you a mouthguard to wear at night.

Should your Bruxism be caused by something not so easily resolved, or if you think you may already have some dental damage / further complications – please contact us to request an appointment with our friendly, experienced and informative team. During your appointment we will examine you, and discuss the best treatment option, so you leave with a genuine (and painless) smile.

Why Choose Invisalign For Teens

If you’re a teen, or the parent of a teen, who is considering orthodontic correction, Invisalign should be one option to think about! If you haven’t heard of Invisalign before, it is the invisible way to straighten your smile. Invisalign for Teens offers many different benefits that can make aligning your teeth simpler and more flexible compared to traditional metal braces. At Omni Dental, we are proud to be certified Invisalign providers for Kirkland residents!

How Does Invisalign Work?

Like conventional braces, Invisalign corrects a number of common orthodontic issues. This includes underbites, overbites, crossbites, and crooked or misaligned teeth. Omni Dental can provide Invisalign to straighten out your smile! The process uses a series of clear, custom-made aligner trays that will fit perfectly into your mouth. The trays are made of BPA-free plastic that is smooth, comfortable, and designed specifically for your unique orthodontic needs. Every two weeks, you change your set of aligner trays and your teeth will gradually move into place!

Benefits For Teens

As a teen, life is very dynamic and constantly evolving. The last thing you should be worrying about is dealing with uncomfortable metal braces! Thankfully, Invisalign for Teens is a trusted method for teenagers and young adults to straighten their smile with added convenience and flexibility. You can smile for photos and laugh with your friends, all the while feeling confident about your teeth! With Invisalign Teen, you will have the freedom to do the things you love – eating your favorite foods, playing sports and instruments, and just being yourself! The best part is you’ll have a perfectly straight new smile, without anyone knowing that you had braces.

Ready to change your life with a brand new smile? Ask your Carter Lake and Council Bluff dentist today at Omni Dental about getting Invisalign for Teens!

What is gum recession?


Gum recession occurs when the gum line recedes to the point where sensitive roots of the teeth are exposed. This leads to increased feelings of sensitivity to cold and sugary foods since the roots are no longer protected by the gums. If left untreated, gum recession can increase the risks of tooth decay and tooth loss. At Omni Dental in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake, we want to help ensure that your gums are at their optimal health.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis can also be the cause of drooping of the gums. This is a different condition in comparison to gum recession. If your dentist diagnoses you with periodontal gingivitis, the recommended solution may be a gingivectomy. A gingivectomy is a process that removes excess gum tissue that has been weakened by bacterial decay. Another option is a gingivoplasty, which reshapes the gums around the teeth. If left untreated, sagging, drooping, and receding gums may be a dangerous enabler of bacteria growth inside of the mouth. Food particles, mucus, and other debris can get caught in the pockets that are left behind. Oral bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

For the benefit of your health, it’s best to get your gums treated immediately if you notice any issues. It’s possible for your dentist to help reverse the effects of gum recession. One recommendation may be to switch from a hard-bristled toothbrush to a soft-bristled toothbrush that will allow your brushing to be more gentle. We may also recommend improving oral hygiene habits, including brushing after meals, rinsing with mouthwash, and getting regular cleanings every six months.

If you think you may be at risk of gum recession or gingivitis, our team of dental professionals at Omni Dental in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake are here to help. Give us a call today at (888) 860-4886 to reserve an appointment.


What is TMJ Syndrome


TMJ syndrome is short for Temporomandibular joint syndrome but is also known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. The name is derived from the joint that connects your skull to your jaw known as the temporomandibular joint. TMJ Syndrome occurs when this joint sustains damage or becomes injured. Typical causes for TMJ Syndrome are injuries to jaw or teeth, arthritis, misalignment, or teeth grinding. Other contributors include stress or anxiety, poor posture, excessive gum chewing, and some sleep disorders including sleep apnea. While TMD may occur at any age, it is most common in women who are between the ages of 20 – 40. Omni Dental is conveniently located in Carter Lake and Council Bluffs to help you better understand TMJ Syndrome and your overall dental health. Visit TMJ Syndrome for more information.

There are a number of symptoms that occur in your ear, jaw, face, head, and neck that may be signs that you are suffering from TMD/TMJ syndrome.

Ear symptoms include:

  • Hearing a popping sound
  • Pain in your ears
  • Ears feeling tender
  • Hearing a ringing

Jaw symptoms include:

  • Jaw joint pain
  • Jaw clicking
  • A sore or stiff jaw
  • Difficult to close and open your mouth
  • Chewing produces a crunching or grinding noise
  • Yawning produces an irregular sound

Face, Head & Neck Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Pain around the temples
  • Frequent migraines
  • Aches and pain around the shoulders and neck
  • Pain in the face
  • Face swelling

Visit Omni Dental and our trained professionals will provide you with a thorough initial assessment. It is essential to identify the cause of your pain. Treatment can range from habitual changes such as halting leaning on your chin, chewing your fingernails, or clenching your teeth, or something more extensive based on your individual case. We provide individualized care for TMJ Syndrome, which may also include: bite appliance/splint therapy, physical therapy, joint and muscle assessment, or an assessment of your nutritional needs. Check out our new TMJ dedicated website, for a detailed list of how our skilled professionals can help you.

Omni Dental provides TMJ Syndrome treatment and quality care for your overall dental health. We invite our Carter Lake, Council Bluffs, and Omaha residents to contact us for more information today!