Sometimes It Takes a Village | Riverside Dentist

We all want a healthy smile. Not only does it improve our overall demeanor, but it gives a great first impression to others. And so, we brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash. And if we are doing a thorough job at keeping our teeth clean, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. The special tools your dental professional uses to give your smile a deep cleaning that your toothbrush just can’t do. Moreover, they also help to prevent many other health problems. But that’s not all – here are a few more reasons you should reconsider keeping your dental visits regular:

Gum disease prevention. Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease.

Detection of oral cancer. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer, and of course, early detection is extremely important.

Maintaining good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps your dentist keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing. Keeping your mouth healthy is a trickle-down effect, which leads to the next point…

Maintaining overall health. Not only can getting professional teeth cleanings prevent future dental issues, but gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight, so having that deep cleaning is required.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy, clean and bright, you are more confident and happier. Confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities, so a regular cleaning is something everyone should seek.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Why You Should Make Sugar-free Your First Choice | Riverside Dentist

There you are, at the checkout line with all your groceries, staring at the candy just waiting for you to crumble and buy it. But which pack of gum do you choose? Are you one that will forever be a Hubba Bubba fan, or do you opt for something minty and sugar-free? I mean, what is the difference between the two anyway? Is a sugar-free version really that much better for you?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. This is what is sweetening your sugar-free confections. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar. First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria in your mouth responsible for cavities feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the U.S. FDA and World Health Organization, but like most things in life, should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly. Just make sure you are careful – too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest, and can have fiber-like laxative properties. While chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

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 and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Root Canals | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Woman SmilingTo most patients the thought of needing a root canal is very stressful. However, with modern dentistry, root canals are nothing to fear – the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. It is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. The nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. For the sake of knowledge, let’s break the procedure down…

An x-ray is the first step to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Your dentist or endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. The nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.

An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp, along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and related debris, is removed from the tooth using root canal files. A series of these files are worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals.

Your root canal procedure is completely finished when the permanent filling is in place and a crown, if needed, is in place to avoid re-contaminating the tooth’s interior or breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.

For the first few days following the completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, but return to their normal activities the next day.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Scared of the Dentist? Don’t Be. | Riverside Dentist

Does 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? Now imagine if you it were possible to visit the dentist while you nap comfortably, only to wake with a finished smile. Through the use of oral conscious sedation, it can be done. You can handle your dental business without a care in the world!

Dr. Gerald Middleton will prescribe the appropriate medication in a pill form that you will take before your treatment. Most oral sedation dentistry patients nap through their visit and leave feeling relaxed, healthy, and well cared for. This is important because there are a wide range of patients that can benefit from this calming feature, including:

  • 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 fully relaxed

If taking pills aren’t your cup of tea, there is also nitrous oxide treatment. Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as “laughing gas”. This mild sedative inhalant will put you in a euphoric state of relaxation and will help make the dental procedures much easier for you to handle.

We understand that going to the dentist can be very difficult for some people. 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. Take care of your smile and visit the dentist regularly.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Your Smile Doesn’t Need to Look Dingy | Riverside CA Dentist

We all do our best to keep our smiles pearly white, but even the more proper dental hygienic practices will eventually yield a dingy grin. It’s just how it works. There are lots of things in our lives that can begin to cause our teeth to become less than white. Are you tired of having yellow, stained teeth, despite your strict daily dental hygiene? You are not alone. There are millions of people suffering from the same problem. Luckily, there are plenty of teeth whitening treatments available to help us out.

But why does this happen if you are looking after your teeth? This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by poor lifestyle habits. 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.

Contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • 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

While teeth discoloration is inevitable, here are simple rules to live by to help thwart the yellowing process:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

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 and all surrounding areas.

Protect Your Teeth from Summer Fun | Riverside Dentist

As we are smack dab in the middle of summer, it is important that we know that while we are having summer fun in the sun, our teeth can be affected if we aren’t careful. Not only by eating too many sweets and neglecting our dental hygiene routines, but through physical activities we indulge in during these warm summer months.

Patients who have a tooth knocked out can anticipate upwards of $20,000 worth of lifetime dental costs associated with just that one tooth. In addition to these expenses, the person can suffer through lost work time, emotional and psychological scars and pain. An easy way to prevent these accidents from happening is to use a mouthguard when playing physical sports. But which is best for your needs?

Boil and bite. “Boil and bite” mouth guards are not thick enough in the most vulnerable areas and do not provide optimum protection in the prevention of dental injuries and concussions. This is unfortunate because athletes and their parents purchase these items expecting a certain level of protection, despite their inexpensive advantage.

Custom-fitted. These guards can be somewhat more expensive, but they are made to fit very accurately to the mouth with minimal interference to speech, breathing and swallowing. These types of guards can be made to an ideal thickness in order to properly reduce or prevent dental injuries and concussions.

Performance. A third mouth guard is the so-called “performance mouth guard” utilize the repositioning of the bite to better align the athlete’s head, neck and spine for this increased strength.

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 and all surrounding areas.

How to Prevent Bad Breath | Riverside Dentist

Do you suspect you have bad breath? If so, it might be an indication of other problems and not just a lack of proper oral hygiene. With perpetual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  • See your dentist regularly. They will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Using sugarless gum or candies can stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat. Bring the log and a list of medications to your dentist for review.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan.

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.

ClearCorrect: The Clear Alternative | Riverside Dentist

With everyone constantly having a camera phone in their hand, it is important to have our best smiles ready to go at a moment’s notice. But unfortunately, most of us do not have the luxury of having naturally perfect smiles. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to improve our smiles by sitting in a dentist’s chair. Crooked teeth? No problem. Braces are ideal to fix this dental issue. Are you looking for an alternative to metal braces with no brackets and no wires? If so, the answer is ClearCorrect invisible braces.

With ClearCorrect, your dentist or orthodontist can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, customized removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth. What goes into this discreet transformation? Take a look…

First, your dentist will take impressions, photos and x-rays of your teeth that ClearCorrect uses to create your custom aligners. These are sent to ClearCorrect, along with a prescription for your new custom aligners. A 3D model of your teeth will then be created so you and your dentist are able to see the projected results of treatment. When you are satisfied with the projected results, ClearCorrect will begin manufacturing your custom aligners.

You will wear the aligners at all times, except when eating, drinking and brushing/flossing. The ClearCorrect aligners are barely noticeable and won’t interfere with daily life. Your teeth will slowly adjust and align with each new aligner you receive, and eventually you will have the straight beautiful smile you have always dreamed of.

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.

Is Chewing Gum Good for My Smile? | Riverside Dentist

We all know we shouldn’t consume a lot of sugary snacks if we want our smiles to remain healthy. Have you ever stopped to think – is choosing sugar-free gum even necessary? It turns out, many sugar-free products do work, and it is because of a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar.

Cavity-causing bacteria needs to feed on sugar; happily, it cannot feed on Xylitol. Chewing sugar-free gum containing Xylitol not only prevents damaging bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar by producing more saliva. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

The good news is, gum and mint products are the most common sources of Xylitol for dental impact. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly. How much is regularly? Even as much as 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the U.S. FDA and World Health Organization but should be taken in moderation. Too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest. However, chewing gum a few times per day is a cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, while fighting off cavities, making it a great snack to enjoy.

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.

Need a Reason to Get Veneers? How ‘Bout Ten? | Riverside Dentist

Porcelain veneers offer superior benefits over other cosmetic dental procedures, such as dental crowns or braces. These fingernail-thin shells adhered to the front surface not only solve a myriad of aesthetic problems but can also be performed with just one treatment. It’s true! Only one appointment necessary to bring your smile back. Are you convinced? Here is a list of the top 10 reasons you may want to consider bringing your smile back with some dental veneers:

Natural looking. Porcelain is a translucent material that mimics the look, luster, and feel of enamel. No one will ever know the difference.

Whiten. When adhered to the front surface of your teeth, veneers will make your teeth look instantly whiter.

Straighten. Veneers offer a great alternative for patients with crooked teeth who do not want to endure the process of having their teeth straightened with dental braces.

Fix. Veneers can improve the look of teeth that are chipped or broken.

Fill in gaps. Veneers can be customized to repair smiles with unsightly gaps.

Youthful. A whiter, brighter, more lustrous smile can immediately give your face a more youthful appearance.

Conservative. Unlike other cosmetic procedures that require removing a large portion of healthy, natural teeth, veneers can be applied with little alteration.

Protection. Once applied, the veneers also serve to provide an additional protective shield for the front surface of teeth.

Stain-resistant. Porcelain is stain-resistant, which gives your smile a long-lasting bright white sheen.

Gum friendly. Gum tissue is not irritated by porcelain, so recovery time is minimal.

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.