The Beginning Stage of Gum Disease: Gingivitis | Dentist in Riverside

We can’t say it enough – dental hygiene is important. Not only for our smile’s appearance but for our overall health. Daily maintenance is important. Dental checkups will ensure that you are doing a proper job. Not only will your smile look great, but it will be healthy.

That said, if you don’t maintain your smile adequately, dental issues will likely arise. And one of the more common issues is gum disease. It’s so common that 3 out of 4 adults will have some form of gum disease at some point in their lives. The first stage being gingivitis.

Your gums attach to the teeth at a lower point than what we can see. This small space is called a sulcus where food can get trapped and cause an infection or gingivitis as your gums separate from the teeth. This can cause injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, causing the tooth to become loose and unstable. If infection progresses, you may ultimately lose your tooth or need a dentist to remove it.

Now that you know what happens, take a look at common symptoms:

  • Gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Loosened teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath, even after you brush your teeth

Gum disease may be common, but it isn’t harmless. The good news is gingivitis can be prevented by proper and consistent oral hygiene, so keep a balanced diet and visit the dentist regularly. And of course, brush your teeth twice daily and floss. Prevention is key to keeping your smile bright and healthy.

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.

Do You Take Milk in Your Tea? | Dentist in Riverside

There are loads of reasons to enjoy a cup of tea. To warm (or cool) your insides, to gather with friends, to even get a good night’s sleep. No matter your reason, tea has become a favorite for people around the world. The problem is one similar to other dark drinks – they can stain your teeth over time. But it still doesn’t matter – tea is going to be a staple in everyone’s lives. So, to celebrate International Tea Day (May 21), let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our beloved leafy beverages…

First, let’s take a look at the pros: Black and green tea contain fluoride, which we all know helps ward off tooth decay while preventing cavities by controlling bacteria and reducing acid in your mouth. After all, saliva production is key to washing bacteria from inside our mouths. In fact, when making tea, use tap water for an extra fluoride boost!

Tea also contains polyphenols, which are micronutrients from plant-based foods that reduce gum inflammation and disease. Polyphenols are killing bacteria, while combatting bad breath better than a mint. If that’s not enough, tea is great for our overall health as it’s antioxidant-rich option that can even help slow the growth of certain kinds of cancer, including oral cancer.

And while this healthy drink can tinge our teeth, it isn’t a permanent feature. After your cuppa, why not give your teeth a quick brush? Not only will a teeth-whitening session improve your smile, but daily dental hygiene is the best way to slow down the staining process.

Do keep in mind that sugar and acidic add-ins can erode your teeth and make you more prone to cavities. So, try to limit the lemon, sugar and honey.

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.

Am I Developing a Cavity? | Dentist in Riverside

A bright, healthy smile is the optimal goal for every dental patient, but let’s face it – things happen, and we may not end up with the most ideal smile. This is why keeping our dental appointments is so important. Dentists are the only ones that can fix dental issues that may arise.

One common dental ail is a cavity. 92% of adults and 40% of kids across the globe are reported to have cavities. That’s a lot of cavities! So, how do you know if you are developing a cavity? There are a few telltale signs. If you find that you suffer from any of these symptoms, make a dental appointment to check things out. If left untreated, it will only get worse – and more painful.

Tooth pain. No one likes tooth pain, regardless of its level of pain. If it hurts when you bite something soft, this is an indication of a progressed cavity.

Tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are caused by bacteria thinning down your enamel to the nerve. There is toothpaste to deal with tooth sensitivity, but you need to address the issue.

Tiny holes. Do you see holes in your teeth? It’s likely a developing cavity.

Dark spots. Typically, if there is a dark spot on your tooth, chances are high that there is an invisible hole.

Bad breath. As the bacteria that causes a tooth decay penetrates deeper, it can cause bad breath.

Cracked tooth. Accidents, extremely hard food and poor oral hygiene can cause crevices in your tooth, which can lead to infection.

Pus. Pus is a sign of a decayed and infected tooth – don’t ignore this symptom. It could lead to fever, pain and swollen glands.

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.

The ABCs of Fluoride | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all seen it before – fluoride in our water, in our toothpaste, everywhere. But what exactly is fluoride? And what exactly does it do to our teeth? Here is everything you need to know about this mystery additive.

Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay.

After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

So, now that we know it’s great for our teeth, how do we get fluoride?

  • Drink water with fluoride.
  • Use dental products with fluoride.
  • Brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Take a fluoride supplement.

For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

For children 3 to 6 years old, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children don’t have developed swallowing muscles so stay away from mouthwash until they are at least seven years old.

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.

Why Professional Teeth Cleanings Are Healthy | Dentist in Riverside

You brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, to the point of extreme diligence. In fact, your dental checkups are raving. So, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Isn’t this redundant? Not at all. Your teeth can never be too clean, but there are other perks to having your smile professionally cleaned. Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Not only do they improve the appearance of your smile, but they also help to prevent many other health problems. So, before you dodge your next dental appointment, take a look at the pros:

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.

Oral cancer detection. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer. And with any cancer detection, the earlier the better.

Good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps to keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had, currently have and may have in the future.

A beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, and when you have a beautiful smile, you are more confident, and it has been proven that this confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. We tend to center oral disease to the mouth, but this isn’t the case – gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight so these dental procedures can help detect future issues.

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.

How Gum Disease Can Harm Your Health | Dentist in Riverside

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing, it will invade the small spaces in-between your gums and teeth.

If the plaque is left to settle, your gums can become inflamed and infected. And if left untreated, your overall health becomes at risk. Because if you think about it, your mouth is your first line of defense from the outside world. Here are a few examples of the way gum disease can affect your health:

Heart disease. Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. It is recommended that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and periodontists ask patients about their heart health.

Diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease and inflammation may be partly to blame. Those with diabetes are also more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control, you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.

Premature births. Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.

Dementia. Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment that can make daily life more difficult.

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.

Teaching ‘Em Young: Brushing Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

When it comes to parenting, it seems like everyone has a different opinion on what you’re doing. It can be exhausting, trying to figure out how to raise your child to be a happy, healthy human. But one of the most important, yet overlooked, areas of parenting is dental health. Many new parents think that dental health isn’t a thing when no teeth are present. And when they do break through, you may feel dental health is unimportant while baby teeth are still around, but that is completely false. It is important to instill good dental hygiene practices, regardless of the teeth present and consistency is key. After all, our mouth is the first line of defense against many of our illnesses, so having a healthy mouth is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, most parents will find that these hygienic lessons don’t happen easily. And for that, we present a few helpful tips to get those little humans to scrub their pearly whites:

Start earlier. If you start at a much younger age, they will be used to the times in the day our teeth are to be cleaned. And by slowly showing them what is to be done each time, they will begin to maintain these good habits as they get older and can do it all by themselves. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Make it musical. Not only is brushing important but sufficiently brushing is just as important. Why not make this a fun event by adding some music. Choosing a song that is at least two minutes long will ensure proper brushing, so choose one your little one enjoys!

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.

Summertime Dental Hygiene | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teeth

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of a heatwave, some of our dietary habits have begun to change. The warm drinks and cozy comfort foods have been exchanged for iced drinks and frozen confections. The problem is, we tend to forget our dental hygiene having so much fun in the sun. Instead of having a tough time at your next dental visit, keep your indulgences in check and take a moment to look after your smile. After all, summertime is a happy time of year. It’s important to make sure you have a smile to show off…

Brushing. 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 and sweet snacks won’t hurt.

Rinsing. Many of us have a tough time getting in all the nooks and crannies of our mouths. This is where mouthwash comes in handy. At what part of your dental hygiene routine doesn’t’ really matter. If you do it before you brush, you can loosen some stuck on foods; afterwards gets any remaining debris out while leaving your breath fresh. Just make sure you have a mouthwash with fluoride.

Flossing. 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.

Let’s Celebrate National Banana Day! | Dentist in Riverside

A favorite snack fruit for all ages is the banana. They’re tasty in cereal and other recipes, babies love to feed themselves with them and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a good workout because they help prevent cramps. The banana is a magical fruit that deserves its own day – April 15th. So, let’s take a day to celebrate this tropical fruit and the benefits this tasty treat has on our smile…

Nutritious. This curvy fruit is jam-packed with loads of vitamins (like C and B6) that are great for our insides, but the potassium, manganese and magnesium components work wonders on your tooth enamel. And unlike many of our go-to citrus fruits, the banana has a very low acidic level. And since acidity causes tooth decay, they are extra great for your teeth.

Unfortunately, these yummy snacks are also packed with a lot of high sugars and starches. So, while they are a great option, eating them in moderation would be best and giving your teeth a quick brushing or rinse with some water afterwards. Trust us, you can eat two bananas a day and it still wouldn’t have the adverse effects that junk foods would.

Teeth whitening. There is a rumor that the chemical makeup of the banana peel has some teeth whitening factors, but there really isn’t much evidence supporting it. It was the idea that the extraordinary levels of potassium and magnesium soak into your teeth, leaving a shiny whitened effect over time if you rubbed a bit of the peel over your teeth for a couple of minutes. But proper dental hygiene and regular dental checkups will be your best bet for a healthy, bright smile.

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.

Before You Place that Next Coffeeshop Order | Dentist in Riverside

For many of us, the day can’t fully begin until we have our first cup of coffee, for others, coffee is more of an afternoon pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. Regardless of the time you drink it, before you grab you next cup, realize that you may want to find another alternative to that caffeine rush you’ve chosen to ingest every day. 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, better known as gum disease.

Quickly, there are two forms of gum 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, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

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.

Here’s the good news: 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. Drink water between cups or have saliva-producing snacks to keep your mouth clean.

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.