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.

Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethBrushing our teeth has long been touted as an important part of oral health. Using a toothbrush, a very simple personal hygiene tool found in every household, we’ve come to make a habit of using it more than twice a day. But have you ever thought about how it came to be? February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so while you are teaching your little one to brush their teeth, teach them a little history of the toothbrush:

Ancient Egyptians are widely regarded as the first group of people to use a toothbrush, constructing one made of twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. By the 15th century, the Chinese had begun using a toothbrush that closely resembles what we use today. A century later, English noblemen and privileged families began using toothbrushes made out of silver.

William Addis would then go on to invent what’s widely considered as the first modern toothbrush in 1780 while in prison. It’s believed that the idea came about while watching how the floors were swept clean using a brush. He’d then fashion the toothbrush using a bone and bristles he had obtained from
the guard and went on to make a fortune once released.

The design of the toothbrush would then be refined over time and in 1938, soft-bristles toothbrushes were invented. Soon enough, companies such as Oral-B would begin mass producing soft-bristled toothbrushes. Innovation still has not left toothbrushes and up to this day, the design and the bristles are still being refined to better meet modern needs, including the development of toothbrushes made of recyclable materials.

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.

Prevent Tooth Decay Five Ways | Riverside Dentist

Keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t an easy task. Well, let’s say that again – keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t difficult if you keep up with the daily basics of dental hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. But it doesn’t just stop there. It takes a village to raise a child, and a healthy smile. The following are five tips to help prevent tooth decay:

Dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing your teeth three times a day makes your teeth stronger.

Regular professional cleanings. It is very important to seek the help of a dentist since they know a lot about it. They know what to do and where to focus on your teeth.

Dietary snacks. It is good to limit sweet snacks as excessive intake of sweets alters’ your blood sugar. If you avoid snacks, you may be depriving your body of nutrition from food. Good snacks should include healthy proteins and fats.

Fluoride therapy. When you have treated your smile with fluoride, you are doing your first steps to preventing the tooth decay that causes cavities. Fluoride therapy involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. When the public water supplies aren’t fluoridated, tablets and/or drops are used as a substitute.

Dental sealant. It is the dental treatment that consists of plastic material that covers one or more teeth, for preventing of cavities and tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied in a dentist’s office.

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.

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.

Don’t Let Diabetes Affect Your Smile | Riverside Dentist

Diabetes is an affliction that affects more Americans every year. Not only do most of us know someone with diabetes, but there are more complications related to it besides heart disease, nerve damage, and limb amputation. In fact, diabetes can also affect your oral health.

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, 7.2 million unaware they have it at all according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report. Your mouth is the window to your health, and we are trained to look closely for signs. For those of you unaware if you may have diabetes, there are certain signs and symptoms can help diagnose the disease.

Periodontal disease, an infection that affects the gum tissue and bone that hold one’s teeth in place and can lead to bad breath, abscesses and tooth loss, may be a first indicator that a person may not have control of his or her blood sugar level. Diabetics have difficulty controlling their periodontal disease. Conversely, people with periodontal disease have difficulty controlling their diabetes. If we are able to control the periodontal disease, then blood sugar levels are easier to control.

Diabetes also makes people more prone to other dental problems, including oral infections, thrush and dry mouth. A small amount of plaque on a non-diabetic patient may lead to gingivitis, but on a diabetic patient it may lead to rapid bone loss and the loss of teeth. We recommend regular dental visits to regulate the disease’s impact on your dental and overall health.

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.

Do I Really Need to Use Mouthwash? | Riverside Dentist

Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it can also save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss and minimizing bacteria on the insides of your cheek and the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can wash leftover food particles. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken 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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Bad Breath: Is It Treatable? | Riverside Dentist

Do you suspect you have bad breath? Perpetual bad breath may be a warning sign of gum 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.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day.

See your dentist regularly. With an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, your dentist 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. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

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.

Myth Busters: Mouthwash Edition | Riverside Dentist

As much as we hate to admit it, some of our favorite foods leave us with some of the worst breath. We enjoy our garlic, onions and coffee, and the dragon breath that follows is completely worth it. Pop in a stick of gum and we’re good. What if I told you it’s all a myth, that mouthwash isn’t helping you out with bad breath at all? Sorry to have to break the news, but it’s true.

So, what causes bad breath? While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance and break up all the built-up bacteria, giving us bad breath.

Okay, 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 is allowed to collect. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

Now, what do we do? Drink water. The more you drink, the more saliva you’re producing. Brush and floss a couple times a day, and tongue scrape at least once daily. If you are in a jam, munching on an apple or a stick of gum will do the trick.

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.

The “Sugar” in Sugar-Free Gum | Riverside Dentist

Do like chewing gum? Is it a sugar-free brand? Have you ever wondered if the advantages of sugar-free gum are actually benefiting your teeth? It turns out, many of those products actually 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, but it cannot feed on Xylitol. Chewing sugar-free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed these 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.

Gum and mint products are the most common, and most sufficient, sources of Xylitol for dental impact. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly, perhaps 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization, but should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, care should be taken, as too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest. Chewing gum a few times per day is a cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, while fighting 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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.