Polishing Your Smile with a Whitening Treatment | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Are you looking for that gleaming white Hollywood smile? If you are, you are not alone. Teeth whitening has quickly been the most requested cosmetic dental procedure around. The problem is, there are factors in our lifestyle that can cause our smiles to become dingy looking. But there is no need to fret – these days you have plenty of teeth whitening options. In fact, for some it may be a bit overwhelming.

First thing to consider – which option is best for me, professional or DIY? While both options do serve you with the same end result, there are differences. Your budget, the severity of your discoloration, and how dramatic you want your end result to be will all become pieces in making that decision. Here are options to consider for your teeth whitening endeavor:

In-office laser treatments. This option of teeth whitening can be performed in one office visit, with three 20-minute bleaching treatments. This is the most expensive form of teeth whitening options, as the results are seen much faster than other teeth whitening options. With laser bleaching, your teeth are in essence bleached and then a light is used to activate the bleach for whitening purposes.

Professional bleaching trays. This option includes your dentist taking an impression of your teeth to create custom bleaching trays that fit your teeth. You will use a special bleaching solution for one to two weeks.

Over-the-counter whitening kits. This option provides a multitude of different products that are offered. You can but kits for just about everything these days. Over the counter products are budget friendly, however don’t produce the most dramatic results.

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.

Should You Get a Dental Implant? | Riverside Dentist

When we need a tooth replaced, there are many things that go through our heads. Is it going to hurt? Is it going to be obvious? Will it work the same as a real tooth? Will my lifestyle need to change? There are answers to each and every one of these questions and you’re going to be pleased. These aren’t your grandparents’ dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge when you have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Before now, dental implants were rudimentary and pretty obvious to others. It involved a couple of appointments and could be rather painful. Today, dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling that no one will ever know the difference. Even more so when they last a lifetime.

There are two types of implants:

  • Endosteal (in the bone). Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone). These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure, so you won’t need to worry when speaking or eating – you will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

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.

One Reason to Be Salty | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we hear the word salty, we don’t necessarily think of it as a good thing. Not only does too much salt ruin a dish, but it can cause health problems if you overindulge. Not to mention the newest slang term for a someone with a bad attitude. But there is one way that salt is actually good for us – for our mouths more specifically. And it is something that we can do on our own: the saltwater rinse.

Saltwater mouth rinses are easily made at home using a combination of warm water and salt. The salt increases the pH of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment that is hostile towards bacteria. To put is basically, saltwater rinses help keep our mouths healthy by killing off cavity-causing bacteria. It is used often to soothe sore mouths after surgery or to relieve a toothache while waiting for your dental appointment.

Making a saltwater rinse is easy – add one half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth every two to three hours after surgery. The water should be warm to help dissolve the salt, but not hot – it should be considerably cooler than you would use for a cup of hot coffee or tea. The salt will help treat both dental-related issues (such as damaged tissue following tooth extraction) and even non-dental issues, such as sore throat caused by the common cold.

While there are benefits to using a saltwater rinse, many dentists typically recommend antibacterial commercial mouthwashes for everyday use. While saltwater is great for treating mouths with injuries, medicated commercial mouthwashes are better at killing bacteria, though they’re slightly harsher on the mouth.

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 Are My Teeth Discolored? | Riverside Dentist

Everyone wants a bright white smile. Unfortunately, keeping our teeth white isn’t the easiest thing to do, even with the most impeccable dental routines. So, we make an appointment for a teeth whitening procedure to help with the problem. Teeth whitening has now become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today.

But why do our teeth continue to become discolored? Well, lots of times it is not our dental routines, but our lifestyle choices that determine how white our teeth stay. Our diet and habits can both cause our teeth to stain over time. Here are some 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

Simple rules to live by to try and stop 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

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. The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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.

When Medical Conditions Give You a Headache | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we think about our health, we often overlook our smile, but we really need to rethink this point of view. Our mouths are the first line of defense to many of our health issues, so maintaining good dental health is imperative to our overall health. But it also can work in the opposite direction – certain health conditions can affect your dental health.

One instance of this is diabetes – patients with poorly controlled diabetes can have very severe dental problems. The lack of blood supply can contribute to infections in the gums and bones beneath teeth, and high blood sugar can cause dry mouth, where the resulting lack of saliva contributes to an increase in bacterial buildup and tooth decay.

Sleep apnea, a medical condition where the body tissue often blocks the airway, causing significant sleep problems, can cause dry mouth leading to bacterial buildup and tooth decay, jaw fatigue leading to TMJ disorders, and in some cases bruxism (tooth grinding), which wears down tooth enamel, and can cause tooth loss as teeth are damaged during sleep.

But don’t worry – there is plenty of hope. Keeping up a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mouth. Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid can help minimize your risk of tooth decay, and maintaining sufficient calcium is necessary for bone and tooth health. Couple that with brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, and you have healthy teeth and gums. So, if you’re having medical issues, mention them to your dentist – it may help in diagnosing and treating problems they see within your mouth.

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 Dental Implants | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Dental implant is a pretty scary sounding procedure for many patients, but it shouldn’t be – so we are here to help. Let’s settle some nerves about this dental procedure so you don’t have to fear it when the time comes. This artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge when you have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants natural-looking and feeling and under proper conditions, can last a lifetime.

There are two types of implants:

  • Endosteal (in the bone). Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone). These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be a candidate for dental implants. You need to be in good oral health and have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant and healthy gum tissue. One more reason it is important to take care of 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 and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Be Scared of the Dental Chair | Riverside Dentist

dental fear

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 could have everything done while you nap comfortably and awake to not remembering anything from the procedure. By the use of oral conscious sedation, we can do this for you.

One the day of your dental appointment, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate medication in a pill form that you will take in his office before your treatment. Most oral sedation dentistry patients nap through their visit and leave feeling relaxed, healthy, and well cared for. This can benefit 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 fully relaxed

The good thing is, your dental experience can be virtually painless when you have been given a bit of Nitrous Oxide, 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. Rest at ease – your dental professional can help ease your fears. Just let them know you have an issue.

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.

Mouth Guards: Do You Need One? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Regardless of the sport, we all enjoy a good game. If you are the athlete, it is important to not only help your team win but stay healthy in the process. Because injury is so prevalent, various equipment is created in order to protect your body from serious injury. One of these protective pieces of sports equipment is the mouthguard.

Just for a quick point of reference, young athletes who have a tooth knocked out can anticipate upwards of $20,000 worth of lifetime dental costs associated with just that one tooth. This is why it is important to protect those pearly whites from any injury. But with so many versions available, which is best for you?

While the store-bought, or “boil and bite”, varieties are relatively inexpensive and represent over 90 percent of the mouth guards purchased today, they can also fit poorly and interfere with speech, breathing and swallowing, making them less likely to be worn.

Athletes can also see a dentist for a custom-fit mouth guard. These guards can be somewhat more expensive, but they are made to fit very accurately to the athlete’s 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.

A third area of the mouth guard industry is the performance mouth guard, designed as much for increased strength, balance and overall improved athletic performance, as it is for tooth protection. These guards utilize repositioning of the bite to better align the athletes 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 Did I Get Gingivitis? | Riverside Dentist

woman brushing teeth

No one wants to hear bad news from the dentist, but gingivitis is one of those words a patient absolutely dreads hearing come out of their dentist’s mouth. We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but how do we get it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene, 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. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • 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
  • Medications, such as anti-seizure medications

While gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the teeth, periodontal disease occurs when the bone below the gums gets inflamed or infected. Gingivitis forms when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria-plaque forms that then sticks to the surfaces of teeth. This is why it is so important to maintain proper dental hygiene. A clean, healthy mouth will keep gingivitis at bay.

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.

Is Mouthwash Necessary? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

It’s tough to turn down a slice of pizza or a piping hot cup of coffee. They are just so delicious, but they leave our breath quite brutal. Use bit of mouthwash & we’re good…right? What if I told you mouthwash isn’t helping your bad breath at all? Sorry, but it’s true.

While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. That’s where our saliva comes in. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance. Saliva is our natural line of defense against bad breath.

Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria collects. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

There were once claims that mouthwash could replace your daily dental routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mouthwash cannot remove plaque. Nothing liquid can remove plaque. It needs to be removed by physically removing it with a toothbrush and floss. If you aren’t doing either of those, the plaque remains on your teeth and the mouthwash cannot get to the bacteria in order to kill 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 and all surrounding areas.