The Risks of Gum Disease | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but what is it?

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 and is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene.

Unfortunately, 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

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Three important measures we are taking to keep our dental office safe against COVID-19

COVID-19 has made every business think deeply about security measures in face of such a pandemic. This is no different at our dental office, where your safety is very important to us.

In a recent video, Dr. Middleton briefly explained some of the products and technologies that he and his staff are using to help keep his Riverside dental office safe during the current pandemic.

In this article, we’d like to go over these products in further detail to make sure you know exactly why we use them how they protect anyone who enters our dental office.

Hospital-grade air purifiers 

First on the list are hospital-grade air purifiers, which we have installed in several locations in our office. These are the same kinds of air purifiers that hospitals use so that the air is as fresh as possible for their patients.

At our dental office, we wanted to make sure that the air you breathe is as clean as it would be in a hospital setting. In face of a serious threat such as COVID-19, clean air in the dental setting is increasingly important.

Our air purifiers, made by the highly-lauded Surgically Clean Air, reduce 99.9% of airborne contaminants. With a six-stage filtration and sterilization process, they destroy any odors, gases, mold, allergens, and viruses that may be lingering in the air. This includes COVID-19, which has a significantly lower chance of surviving a battle without air purifiers!

Air purifiers are the first line of defense against COVID-19. But they aren’t the only thing we are doing to combat the virus.

Electrostatic disinfecting fogger 

Second in our line of defense against COVID-19 is an electrostatic disinfecting fogger. This is especially good at cleaning out those hard-to-reach places that the air purifiers may have trouble getting to. 

So how do they work? 

These aren’t just ordinary foggers. Our foggers work to attack all harmful products in a given area through a process known as electrostatic spraying. 

Electrostatic spraying is proven to be highly effective at sanitization. It is much more comprehensive than other foggers as it applies a 3D wrapping effect to any surface that it encounters. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, the disinfectant is able to wrap around an entire surface. This gives it complete coverage against harmful bacteria and viruses. 

Essentially, electrostatic disinfecting foggers eradicate all traces of the virus from any surface they touch. This gives us yet another layer of defense against COVID-19. 

In our dental office, we use our fogger several times a day – particularly after any dental procedure that involves aerosols. 

Dental tissue laser 

Lastly, we have started to implement a dental tissue laser at our office. This helps against harmful aerosols and splatter when Dr. Middleton or another team member is performing a dental procedure.

As you are all aware, dental procedures can be messy with all sorts of products flying from your mouth and into the surrounding area. Our Solea dental laser is the solution for a post-COVID environment. In total, it uses 74% less air pressure and 83% less water flow when compared to other drills. 

Our Solea all-tissue dental laser significantly reduces aerosols and splatter by utilizing less water flow and air pressure than other dental lasers. It also stops COVID in its tracks by killing any viruses and bacteria whenever wherever the beam comes in contact with them.

In these trying times, safety is crucial. At our Riverside dental office, you can rest assured that we will take every measure to ensure safety for you and our team.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Dental Hygiene for Summertime Sweets | Riverside Dentist

The summer season means a whole lot of things, but summertime sweets are at the top of the list. Ice cream and pie, cold drinks and county fair confections – no other season can beat it. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, indulging in these treats will do a number on our dental health. This is why it is important to balance our sugary intake with a proper dental hygiene routine. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions – you may need to make some adjustments.

How often are you brushing your teeth?

It is no secret that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes – in the morning to start the day with fresh clean breath, and before bedtime to prevent any remaining cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth while you sleep. If you happen to have a toothbrush handy, brushing between meals is always a great idea as well. 

What do you brush your teeth with?

It can be a bit overwhelming task, trying to choose the right toothbrush for your smile. After all, there is generally an entire aisle at the store dedicated to toothbrushes. How does one even begin to choose? It is a good idea to choose a soft-bristled one, so that it is gentle on your gums. Hard-bristled versions can wear at your gums, slowly causing future periodontal issues.

Is flossing important?

One of the more neglected dental tasks has to be flossing. But in actuality, flossing plays a very important part in our dental routines. Not only does it get stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Five apps to help get your kids to brush their teeth

Boy brushing his teeth

It’s hard to get children to brush their teeth – no doubt about it. For kids, full of boundless energy, it can be hard to start an effective tooth-brushing routine.

But it’s imperative that you make your kids brush their teeth in order to instill healthy habits into their later lives. The American Dental Association says that every kid should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day in order to keep their teeth fresh and healthy – however, this is easier said than done.

Luckily, the digital age has brought technology designed to do just that. The following five applications are designed to help make brushing your teeth fun and accessible to kids. 

Pokemon Smile

Pokemon is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with its games selling millions of copies around the globe. Last month they announced the release of an innovative new game – not one designed to save the world, rather one to save something far more important: your kids’ teeth. 

Pokemon Smile, as recently announced in a press release, allows kids to help rescue their beloved Pokemon from “cavity-causing bacteria.” Using augmented reality, the easy-to-use application tracks brush movements with the front-facing camera. After a successful brushing away of all the cavity-causing bacteria, the user is rewarded with a chance to catch their very own Pokemon. 

Interestingly enough, Smile isn’t Pokemon’s first foray into healthy living. Last year, they released Pokemon Sleep, designed to help you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.

Both Smile and Sleep are available for download now in the Google Play or the App Store.

 Disney Magic Timer

While Pokemon is the newest major media company to develop an app geared to get children to brush their teeth, it’s not the first. Disney beat them to the punch by a few years by partnering with Oral-B to create the Disney Magic Timer.

What sets the Magic Timer apart from Pokemon is the vast amount of characters Disney is able to tap into, including Star Wars, Marvel, and other classic Disney characters. 

After downloading the application, the first step is to pick your favorite characters. As your child brushes, these characters appear on the screen, rewarding them for brushing their teeth effectively. If certain goals are met, they can even win prizes and unlock stories for their characters. The downside to Magic Timer is that you need to purchase a compatible toothbrush in order to use the application. 

If your kids are die-hard fans of Disney princesses or superheroes, there’s a good chance this application is for you. Disney Magic Timer is compatible with all Apple and Android devices.

 Brush Up toothbrush trainer

Stepping away from apps from major companies brings us to Brush Up, a toothbrush trainer application that helps teach, empower, and motivate your child to brush their teeth. 

Brush Up has its own interactive AI for children to follow along to – a virtual toothbrush trainer named Budd who guides your kids along their tooth brushing journey. By following Budd’s movements and verbal instruction, kids learn how to brush their teeth most effectively and efficiently. At the end of each tooth brushing session, kids are able to evaluate and learn how to improve their brushing ability, putting them on the road to a healthy brushing habit.

In fact, the National Academy of Medicine named Brush Up one of the best apps of 2015, citing its innovation in getting kids to brush their teeth.

As with the previous applications on this list, Brush Up is available in the Google Play and App Store. It’s available for a $0.99 per month subscription or a $9.99 one time fee.

Brush DJ

Brush DJ takes a different approach to making brushing teeth fun. Rather than rely on interactive characters to guide kids in brushing their teeth, it uses something different: music. 

The most common error kids have is not brushing their teeth the dentist-recommended two minutes each time. Brush DJ aims to make this easy for kids by playing two minutes of their favorite songs to help make the time fly.

Brush DJ also sends out reminders to brush, floss, use mouthwash, and when to schedule appointments with your dentist for a cleaning. Better yet, this app is completely free, with no ads attempting to get you to spend your money.

Brush DJ can be found here for Apple users and here for those with Android devices.

Chompers

While this last one on the list isn’t technically an application, it’s still an effective way to get your kids – or even you – to brush your teeth regularly. 

Chompers takes a similar approach as Brush DJ in that it tries to make the two minutes you need to brush your teeth – a time that can seemingly last forever – more interesting. Chompers is a podcast that covers an entire topic in the time it takes to brush your teeth. This could be a joke, brainteasers, or facts all jampacked into a two-minute window. Each podcast also gives off an alert telling you when you need to change the quadrant and when you should finish brushing.

Furthermore, Chompers is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, which is able to keep track of how often your kid brushes and encourages them to keep a streak going.  

You can find Chompers wherever you get your podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts

For kids, brushing teeth can seem like a chore, with many not understanding the importance of long-term dental health until much later in life. Luckily, there are many applications to choose from that make brushing your kid’s teeth a walk in the park.

Dr. Middleton has reopened his office to patients. To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.