No More Excuses for Those Snack Attacks! | Riverside Dentist

There you are, standing in front of the fridge or pantry, craving something to snack on. Then the thought hits, “but aren’t you trying to watch your diet?” It is important to understand that if we intend to stick to our good healthy diets, we need to re-calibrate some of the excuses we come up with to justify our poor snack decisions.

Sweet or salty, it’s no question some of our favorite snacks are not exactly the best options. “We’re at our most creative when we’re trying to justify giving in to a craving,” says David Colbert, MD, a coauthor of The High School Reunion Diet. So, it’s no wonder we can fully convince ourselves of that bag of chips or candies when the craving is unbearable.

The saying holds true: ‘We want what we can’t have’. The more we keep ourselves from a craving, the easier it is to justify indulging. Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite snacks, try enjoying them as a reward for a goal you’ve set for yourself. When you wait to indulge, you’re probably in less of an impulsive mind-set and in more of a reflective, ready-to-savor one. Not only will you be able to enjoy your favorite snack, but you will also be working towards goals bettering yourself. And if that’s too much for you to handle, try a healthier option for that snack. There are plenty of snacks out there that can satiate that desire.

Here’s something you may not know about your chocolate craving: Research shows that chocolate’s comforting effect lasts only three minutes. Is it really worth it?

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Before You Have That Second Cup of Joe, Read This | Riverside Dentist

If you are a coffee drinker, you may want to think twice before you grab another cup. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease. Don’t worry, periodontal disease is actually one of the most common dental problems in general dentistry, but it isn’t something you want to acquire.

There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis – an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis – a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now let’s look at how it comes into play with your coffee consumption. Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.

Saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Crooked Teeth Don’t Stand a Chance with ClearCorrect Aligners | Riverside Dentist

There is little one fears more growing up than finding out their permanent teeth are coming in crooked. When you’re young, it turns out to be a tough road to travel, especially when compounded with growing pains. But no matter what, when you set out to get a straight set of pearly whites, there are a few options on the market to go with. The problem is deciding which is the better choice, tried-and-true braces or the inconspicuous ClearCorrect aligners? At work, at play, out on the town, ClearCorrect fits your life and daily routine as perfectly as it fits your teeth – you don’t need to change a thing.

Common Problems that ClearCorrect Addresses

  • When teeth are too tight together they can become crooked and cause discomfort, difficulty cleaning and lead to other dental problems.
  • Gaps between teeth are generally undesirable cosmetically, but are also a dental concern for increasing the chance of tooth decay.
  • When lower and upper teeth are not aligned properly it can cause difficulty chewing and lead to jaw and other dental problems.
  • Aside from generally being a cosmetic concern, overbites can also cause eating problems and dental issues.

Results are faster the more you wear your aligners, and ClearCorrect was designed to be effortless and non-intrusive in your life so you can wear your aligners as much as possible. Your aligners are easy to put in and take out when needed—and you’ll really only need to when you eat or clean your teeth.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Welcome Dr. Pavlisin! | Riverside Dentist

Join us in welcoming Dr. Pavlisin to our team. She has recently moved to California, and her practice philosophy aligns very well with ours. You may wonder if this means Dr. Middleton is ready to retire, but rest assured he is not going anywhere. We simply now have two highly skilled dentists to deliver the excellent dental care you expect from us.

I am fairly new to California having been raised in Illinois, attending dental school at the University of Illinois and then practicing there for 26 years. During that time, I continued to study advances in dentistry by attending The Pankey Institute and The Dawson Center as well as continuing to complete many courses to enhance my dental skills and to provide my patients with state of the art treatment techniques.

Since in California, I have been in private practice part time and am a Clinical Professor at Western University Dental School. I enjoy teaching and mentoring our new generation of dentists. I have also had the opportunity to donate dental care for a women’s shelter in Ensenada, Mexico and to the underserved at the Care Harbor events in LA.

I feel privileged to be joining Dr. Middleton’s team because of his commitment to dental excellence and his ethical practice philosophy. I admire the relationships he develops with his patients, as I value the relational aspect of dentistry as well. I also love the art of dentistry and how the beauty of a smile is supported by health and biology.

My husband and I will be celebrating 30 years of marriage this year. We have 5 children ages 27 to 19. My husband’s change of career prompted our move to California. Although it was very difficult leaving my wonderful patients and friends in Illinois, our family has been blessed in many ways here. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, cooking, reading, and Southern California gardening!! Maybe even some travel now that we’re empty nesters!

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Diabetes Can Ruin Your Smile | Riverside Dentist

186932212Many are aware of serious diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, and limb amputation. But are you aware of the link between diabetes and your oral health?

One quarter of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, and 90 percent of the 79 million adults with pre-diabetes are unaware of their condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We know that your mouth is the window to your health, and we are trained to look closely for signs. For those of you unaware if you may have diabetes, there are certain signs and symptoms can help diagnose the disease.

Periodontal disease, an infection that affects the gum tissue and bone that hold one’s teeth in place and can lead to bad breath, abscesses and tooth loss, may be a first indicator that a person may not have control of his or her blood sugar level. Diabetics have difficulty controlling their periodontal disease, and people with periodontal disease have difficulty controlling their diabetes. If we are able to control the periodontal disease, then their blood sugar levels are also much more in control.”

Diabetes also makes people more prone to other dental problems, including oral infections, thrush and dry mouth. A small amount of plaque on a non-diabetic patient may lead to gingivitis, but on a diabetic patient it may lead to rapid bone loss and the loss of teeth. We recommend regular dental visits to regulate the disease’s impact on your dental and overall health.

For more information about periodontal disease related to diabetes, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

How to Whiten Your Teeth at Home | Riverside Dentist

489195623If there is anything that we correlate with a good smile, it’s the color of the teeth. After all, we call them pearly whites for a reason. The problem with white teeth really lies in the degree you take your oral hygiene. You can brush & floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. You can make appointments for teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. Here are six ways to DIY your smile back to brilliant:

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. You can find a lot of toothpastes with these ingredients, or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into a little bit of baking soda. Apply it as you would regular toothpaste.

Strawberries and banana peels. Having these fruits handy will help brighten your smile in the most delicious way possible. Strawberries contain malic acid, fantastic at breaking down stains. So, grab a couple berries, add about a teaspoon of baking soda & rub on your teeth for 5-7 minutes. As for the banana, it’s the peel. After you brush your teeth, rub a piece of banana peel on the inside on your teeth for two minutes.

Pantry items. If you have apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water and mix it with an all-natural toothpaste. If you have discovered the many uses for coconut oil, you may also know that swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes helps dingy teeth; or heat a cup of coconut oil, add two teaspoons of baking soda & five to ten drops of natural spearmint essential oil. Coconut oil turns into teeth whitening enzyme when mixed with saliva, and the spearmint adds antimicrobial benefits for your gums.

For more information about DIY teeth whitening, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored? I Brush! | Riverside Dentist

close-up-smile-red-lipstickIf you’re tired of having yellow, stained teeth, you are not alone. Teeth whitening restores natural tooth color and bleaching whitens beyond the natural color. There are many methods available, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and laser bleaching. Teeth whitening has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today. More than 100 million Americans whiten their teeth one way or another.

So, if you brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly, why are your teeth still discolored? This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking. In order to keep discoloration at bay, make sure you keep up with your daily dental routine, use toothpaste with whitening agents, make sure to rinse with water after eating anything and visit your dentist regularly. Here is a quick list of ways your teeth can become discolored:

  • Tetracycline based antibiotics used before the age of 8 years old
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride as a child
  • Internal bleeding due to trauma
  • Discoloration due to a health condition
  • Natural aging- as time goes by enamel gets thinner and thinner and will get a yellowish hue
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine

When these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth all day until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is with one of the easiest cosmetic dentistry procedures, professional tooth whitening.

While there are many way products on the market to whiten your teeth, the most popular and convenient method is with the Zoom! Whitening Technique. This procedure is done in our office in about an hour. Our trained clinicians first place a protective barrier on the cheeks and gums. The Zoom! whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. This gel is used with the Zoom! light which together gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. And while they’re working some magic on your smile, you are just sitting back relaxing with your favorite movie or playlist. The gel is applied for three 15 minute sessions for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour. One hour to a whiter, brighter smile!

For more information about ZOOM! Whitening Technique, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Anxious About Your Dental Procedure? Relax. | Riverside Dentist

dental fearDoes the thought of having your teeth worked on make you anxious or uncomfortable? Do the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills make you cringe? Dental phobia is actually a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that about 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of this reason. Now imagine if you could have everything done while you nap comfortably, waking with zero recollection of the procedure. Would that be a dream come true or what? By the use of oral sedation, we can do this for you.

But first, who does dental anxiety affect? What kinds of symptoms should one look out for? It can actually affect a wide range of patients, including people with:

  • High dental anxiety and fear
  • A severe gag reflex
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • Extensive treatment needs
  • A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are in a relaxed state

To break it down simply, sedation dentistry your dentist’s way to relax you enough to handle the dental procedure and it’s done through the use of medication. There are various levels that you can be sedated, from minimal sedation to the completely unconscious general anesthesia. What you receive will depend on your fear and the recommendation made by your dentist. A numbing agent will be administered to the area as well. This will alleviate any pain you may have from the procedure. The idea is to make you as comfortable as possible as they do their job and to make recovery time minimal. Thankfully, there are many ways this “relaxation” can be administered.

If you aren’t in need of a lot to relax you, chances are you will be receiving nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It is given to you as you breathe through a mask, so zero pain is involved. Because it is not a long-lasting option, you will not be under long and will have the option to drive home afterwards. If you need to be calmed with a bit more than a mask full of laughing gas, the next option would be an oral sedative, or via an IV. While the pill can be taken beforehand, the IV version takes affect a lot quicker but also has the ability to be adjusted as needed. For the more invasive procedures, a deeper sedation will be required. This deep sedation method renders you unconscious and unable to awaken easily, unlike the other lighter versions.

It is important to discuss all of your options with your dental professional before any procedure. They will know which method is best for both you and your fears while in their care. Mention your medical history or any other vital information that will help them to decide the appropriate method. Find out the risks and exactly how much experience your dental professional has had with your procedure. Make sure you are in good hands. The more you know, the calmer you will feel when it’s time to get things done.

For more information about sedation dentistry, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Dental Floss: Everything You Need to Know | Riverside, CA

flossingAs important as oral health is to our overall well-being, we really have a lax stance on participating to our fullest potential. One of the least favorite of these little dental chores is flossing. Not only did a survey conducted by the American Dental Association revealed that more adult would rather do something they find awful than floss, but the amount of times they floss is the biggest lie dentists hear on a day-to-day basis. But why do we find it so similar to our own daily torture? It’s the forgotten hygiene. Either we’re too busy or we are too lazy, but flossing has become the “Do I have to?” of the dental world. And unfortunately, flossing is much more important than we think.

Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk (fancy!), but nowadays it comes from thin filament cord. There are varying thicknesses and varieties to choose from, depending on preference. Some are waxed, some are electric or water-based. There are also handy tools available on the market that help facilitate you in flossing properly, whether you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated dental work, like braces. So no matter your reason for avoiding the floss, it isn’t a good one.

Even the process itself is relatively simple. Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion, reminiscent to a shoe shine fella’s rag. What you’re trying to do is gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Now beyond that, there aren’t a whole lot of rules. Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth (it isn’t good for your teeth and it’s gross), and always use a new piece each time you floss. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. Floss before you brush your teeth or after. You just want to get the cleanest mouth you possibly can each time you clean those pearly whites so that bacteria can’t glom onto your teeth and give you cavities or some other kind of gum disease while you aren’t looking. Preventative measures lead to fewer emergency dental visits.

For more information about flossing or other aspects of general dentistry call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Why No One Wants Gingivitis | Riverside, CA

dental fearGingivitis is one of those words a patient absolutely dreads hearing come out of their dentist’s mouth. You’ve basically just told your dentist that you have poor oral care habits and prefer to skip out on regular dental visits. It can’t get any more embarrassing, am I right? But why? Why is it such a bad thing? Because if you really think about it, you don’t really even know what it is. Let’s meet the periodontal disease known as gingivitis…

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a very common condition and varies widely in severity. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. Gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. Gum disease is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene that allows bacteria in plaque and calculus to remain on the teeth and infect the gums.

But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis. Some of the most common risk factors are as follows:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco prevents the gum tissue from being able to heal.
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate and are harder to keep clean.
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause typically correlate with a rise in gingivitis. The increase in hormones causes the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack.
  • Cancer and cancer treatment can make a person more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Stress impairs the body’s immune response to bacterial invasion.
  • Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren’t protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
  • Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake, will increase the formation of plaque. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
  • Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the gums ability to heal.
  • Medications such as anti-seizure medications promote gum disease.

So, what causes us to get this oral health issue? Gingivitis forms when food particles mixes with saliva and bacteria-plaque forms that then sticks to the surfaces of teeth. If dental plaque and tartar aren’t removed by brushing with toothpaste and flossing, it can become mineralized and form tartar. Tartar is very hard and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning, which is why dental check-ups are so necessary. Untreated tarter can lead to major and costly dental problems.

Plaque and tartar are filled with harmful bacteria, and if they aren’t removed from teeth, they will begin to irritate the gums and cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis will often extend from the gums to the bone and lead to periodontitis. When the underlying bone gets infected, it will start to recede away from the teeth and form deep gum pockets. These pockets collect plaque and bacteria as they are very difficult to keep clean, and more bone loss occurs. As periodontal disease progresses into later stages and more bone tissue is lost, the teeth may eventually become loose and fall out.

For more information about gingivitis or other gum disease, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.