Lasers at the Dentist? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When you think about lasers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A sci-fi movie? Chances are you aren’t thinking about your dentist, but lasers are actually more commonplace than you may think. Why? Laser dentistry can relieve and cure several dental conditions you may encounter with added benefits.

A laser is a device that emits a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. When that beam of light comes into contact with tissue, it causes a reaction that can remove, vaporize, or shape tissue. Lasers have been used in several other industries; however, in 1990 they became a common tool for dentists. So, as much as we have come to expect sharp metal objects fixing your smile, you may be pleased to know a laser has replaced many of those tools.

Some of the scenarios where lasers can be used in dentistry are: correcting tongue speech problems, uncovering partially erupted wisdom teeth, removing decay from a cavity prior to filling, removing muscle pulls, managing gum tissue, performing biopsy procedures, reducing the amount of bacteria in periodontal pockets, treating infections, reducing discomfort from canker or cold sores, and activating whitening chemicals when bleaching teeth.

Then there are the advantages: no need for anesthesia or drilling, reduction of symptoms and healing times as well as bacteria in gums and teeth and controlling bleeding during a surgery.

Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, unfortunately using lasers is not suitable for all dental procedure. Make sure to call your dental professional to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.

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.

Brighten Your Pearly Whites with Zoom! | Riverside Dentist

If 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. 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. 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.

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.

MythBusters: Cavities Edition | Riverside Dentist

Cavities are perhaps the most treatable and preventable dental issue in the world. That being said, there are a lot of ways in which cavities have been brought upon, and while some are completely true others are myths. Here’s a breakdown on what are facts and what are fiction when it comes to cavities.

Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay.

Fact. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft fruit drink don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger. Acids may cause erosion of the tooth protecting enamel, thus weakening the tooth. At the same time, acidic foods naturally help to clean off our teeth and brighten it a bit. With acidic foods, stick to keeping them to a minimum.

Children are more likely to get cavities than adults.

Fiction. While it would seem to be that the rookies to dental hygiene and lovers of sweets are more susceptible to cavities, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people. Many times, it is because there are some medications dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. Saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids.

Sugar is the prime cause of cavities.

Trick question – this is both true and false. It is actually the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities, however, sugar is a substance that fuels bacteria to keep doing what they’re doing. Think of it as bacteria food. The longer you leave it in your mouth, the longer the bacteria have to dine on it and cause 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.

Flossing Isn’t Just a Slang Term | Riverside Dentist

If there’s anything in our daily dental routine that we find a chore, it has to be flossing. So much so, when you go in for your regular dental checkup and cleaning, your dentist can actually tell when you have or haven’t been doing your due diligence. What you may fail to realize is that flossing is more than just picking leftover food out of our teeth. It plays a key role in preventing many dental issues we may encounter in the future. So, let’s get reacquainted with our dental friend, the floss…

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. Whether you choose dental floss or the flossing devices available on the market now, you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated places your toothbrush can’t reach.

To floss, 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, gently scrubbing all the spaces between your teeth. Use a new area of floss for every tooth, and work from top to bottom or vice versa. Flossing before or after you brush doesn’t matter – you just want to get the cleanest mouth you possibly can each time you clean those pearly whites so that bacteria can’t settle in to cause cavities or some other kind of gum disease while you aren’t looking.

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.

It Gives You More than Just Coffee Breath | Riverside Dentist

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas! Yes, the weather is cooling off and our drinks of choice are heating up. And if you are a regular coffee drinker, you are aware of the coffee breath downside to your caffeinated habit. But did you know that you can also develop gum disease as well? It’s true. Gum disease is a fairly common dental issue to develop in a patient’s lifetime, but if you are a regular coffee drinker, the chances are much higher.

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. When caught in the gingivitis stage, gum disease can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out because of the gaps created between your gums and teeth.

Here is how your cup of joe is affecting these circumstances. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow to your gums. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow prevents your gums from getting the oxygen they need to function properly.

Saliva is one of the first lines of defense against bacteria in our mouths. Drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So next time you reach for that coffee house door, remember your smile.

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.

If I Brush, Why Does My Dentist Need a Turn? | Riverside Dentist

We all know the rules to having a clean, healthy smile – dental hygiene is the main component of this dental hygiene process. So, you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash and you smile feels bright and shiny. If this is the case, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? After all, you’re doing all the hard work on a daily basis. Why does your dentist insist on cleaning your teeth every time you go in for a checkup? Believe it or not, it’s really necessary.

Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Also, because our mouths are the first line of defense to our overall health, these dental cleanings help to prevent many other health problems. Still not convinced it’s necessary? In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are five reasons why your dentist needs to clean your teeth:

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 comes an oral cancer screening. Early detection is key.

Maintaining good oral health. Cleaning your teeth gives your dentist insight into your habits and can offer tips to improve any technique issues.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy, clean and white, you are more confident and happy, which can only improve your social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. Gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight.

 

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.