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.

Why Do I Need a Filling? | Riverside Dentist

When it’s time to visit the dentist, we are all crossing our fingers that our dental hygiene efforts have proven fruitful, and our checkup is passed with flying colors. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen to many of us. Yes, for many of us, a cavity has developed on one or more of your teeth. And we all know what that means – it’s time for a filling.

But is there a way for you to know you have a filling? What does it feel like when a cavity develops? Do you feel anything? For many, a cavity doesn’t feel like much of anything – many times, you don’t even realize it’s there. But then there are times when a cavity progresses into something more serious, and that’s when you really feel some pain. If you are experiencing sensitivity to certain foods or having difficulty eating due to an excessive amount of pain, it’s time to make a dental appointment – you’ve got yourself a toothache.

The following symptoms indicate that dental fillings are needed to treat your teeth effectively:

  • A visible gap or hole in your teeth
  • A filling that needs to be replaced because it is broken
  • Food getting stuck between your teeth

So, why a filling? Fillings are absolutely necessary in order to prevent further tooth decay from occurring. The consequences of not receiving dental fillings can result in permanent tooth decay and the loss of teeth. With the help of fillings, each tooth is less prone to infections. In order to guarantee your teeth are in top shape, regularly visit your dental professional to avoid any dental issues that can arise in your future.

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 Aftercare: Eating After a Filling | Riverside Dentist

When we head over to the dentist with a cavity, we can be sure that a dental filling is on the docket to repair the situation. After your procedure, you will realize that it’s a bit difficult to eat. Don’t worry – anesthesia doesn’t last long. But it is likely that your mouth will a bit of tooth sensitivity, so here are a few helpful tips to getting through those tender couple days. If pain lasts longer, contact your dental professional for advice:

  • Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from your filling. If possible, avoid chewing with the tooth you just had filled to prevent pain and damage.
  • Chew slowly, bite lightly. Take your time and try not to bite all the way through. A lot of the pressure of chewing is from your top teeth and bottom teeth pressing together. By keeping your jaw loose, you can minimize pain.
  • Keep your mouth closed. This isn’t just to practice good manners – sometimes cold air can cause pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Skip sticky foods. Some fillings take time to set after you leave the dentist’s office. Eating sticky or gummy food could dislodge a new filling, so it’s best to avoid them for a little while.
  • Avoid very hot or cold drinks. High and low temperatures can trigger pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Pass on the sweets. Sugary foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity in your tooth and could even promote bacterial growth around or under your new filling.
  • Avoid hard foods. Foods like nuts, hard candy, or ice can cause more pressure on your tooth when you chew. Tough foods like steak, too. That pressure can dislodge your fresh filling if it hasn’t properly set yet.

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.

Not All Dental Fillings Are the Same | Riverside Dentist

Back in the day, when we got a cavity, we expected to receive a little silver filling to remedy the situation. Wouldn’t big a huge issue for those cavities that resided in the back with the molars, but if it was one of the teeth people noticed when we spoke, it became a cause of embarrassment. Thankfully, dental technology has remedied that situation and we now have options.

Now, please keep in mind that the options vary depending on the patient’s health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of chewing pressure the tooth will have to bear, components of the filling material and the number of visits needed to prepare and accommodate the tooth. But these choices include amalgam, composite and ionomers. Let’s us explain…

Amalgam fillings are what you know as traditional. They’re very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials. Since amalgam fillings can sustain very heavy chewing loads, they are usually used to restore molars.

Composite fillings are made out of glass or quartz and resin, when mixed produces a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings are durable and provide good resistance against fracture in small to medium restorations where there is moderate chewing pressure. Because less tooth structure is removed when using a composite, a smaller filling can be used.

Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders. And they are usually utilized to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in small fillings that do not require any chewing resistance since they have low protection against fractures.

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.

Improve Your Smile with Inlays and Onlays | Riverside Dentist

When discussing ways to improve your smile, there are loads of options to consider. Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.

Direct. First, your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth, then put a soft material called composite resin to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven, then cemented into your tooth.

Indirect. Your dentist will remove the decay, then make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling while the lab creates the inlay or onlay.At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling, then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:

  • Material used
  • Teeth involved
  • The forces of chewing
  • How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist

Watch this informative video on inlays and onlays:

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.

Keeping Away the Halloween Cavity Monsters | Dentist in Riverside

As parents, we want to give our children the world. If it’s possible, we want it to happen. But if we cater to their every whim, they will eventually become wild animals. Thankfully, we as parents have the good sense to restrict things we know aren’t good for them.

Things become a bit trickier when it comes to things like Halloween. Spooks, specters, and sweets is the name of the game on this scary holiday. You spend the other 364 days trying to keep your child healthy, then the calendar throws a holiday based on sugary confections. It is tough to impose good health when you’re surrounded by treats. Depriving your child of everything that this scary holiday celebrates won’t score you any parenting points, so it’s important to keep a balance between having spooky fun and continuing to stay good health.

Trick or treating is basically the best part of Halloween for a child. And let’s face it, you know candy is delicious. So, what is a parent to do? Many parents try to limit their child’s candy intake by having them choose a certain amount of candy from their tremendous haul, some reserve candy to certain times of the day or as reward for good behavior. Why not just weed out all of the really bad sweets? Chewy candy, hard candy and sticky candy can not only take a while to eat, but they can do lots of damage to dental work.

It isn’t difficult to keep your child’s teeth healthy, even when holidays like Halloween come around. Practice good dental hygiene and keep a healthy diet and that smile you love so much will be just fine. Have a happy Halloween!

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.

Eating After a Filling | Riverside Dentist

Now that we are on the cusp of Halloween, it is important to understand that after you have had your holiday fun, your teeth need to be looked after. Because if you don’t, it is likely that you will have yourself a cavity. The way to fix a cavity? Get a filling. It is a minor procedure but should be taken quite seriously. Because your dental filling treatment is done under a local anesthetic, your teeth will be incredibly sensitive for a while. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re healing:

Hot and cold foods. Because your filling is a sensitive area, staying away from food that are too hot or too cold is a good idea. It will be easier, less painful, and more comfortable for you to eat your food at a neutral temperature. Say yes to salads and sandwiches, no to soups and milkshakes until your mouth feels better.

Avoid gum and sticky foods. This tip not only applies to all dental work but avoiding sticky foods is safer for your teeth altogether. And yes, that includes the Halloween favorites, like caramel or taffy. After your filling, the material used to fill in the tooth will still be somewhat malleable. In that case, you want to avoid chewing excessively for the sole purpose of making sure your filling stays right.

Getting a filling isn’t a life-altering issue, but it will take a few days to heal. You can avoid this altogether by practicing good dental hygiene after the spooky times have subsided.

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.

MythBusters: Cavities Edition | Riverside Dentist

When we go to the dentist for a check-up, we are always hoping that we don’t hear those four little words – you have a cavity. And while we never want to have a dental issue happening in our mouths, cavities are perhaps the most treatable and preventable dental issue in the world. But there are also a lot of myths and theories that surround cavities and how they occur. Instead of allowing them to continue, let’s take a look at the real truth behind the more common one regarding cavities. After all, knowledge is power…

Sugar is the prime cause of cavities. 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. The longer you take to brush your teeth, the more time cavities have to feast.

Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay. Fact. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft drinks don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger. Acids may cause erosion of the tooth protecting enamel, thus weakening the tooth. Citrus fruit is good for us, but too much of it can cause problems.

Children are more likely to get cavities than adults. Fiction. Children may love candy and hate to brush their teeth, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people. It isn’t likely because of their sweet tooth, but because some medication can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. And saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids. Drinking water not only helps saliva production but rinses our mouths of sticky sugars.

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.

Inlays and Onlays: Which Is Which? | Riverside Dentist

We all want to have our best smiles and do our best to keep our smiles looking their healthy best. But sometimes, things happen that can give our teeth some flaws. Is all hope lost? Luckily, no. Damaged teeth can be returned back to new with dental restorations called inlays and onlays. The problem is – which is which?

A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place. An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office and applied in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are generally made in a laboratory, which means you’ll need two visits.

Inlays and onlays are completely natural looking dental restorations that will restore the strength and stability to your teeth. But more than that, inlays and onlays can also make your oral hygiene routines easier! In only two dental visits, your oral health will drastically improve with these little dental restorations.

If you’re worried about having a natural look, worry not. Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. And not only are they a temporary fix – they can last for 10 years or longer, depending on factors like which teeth are involved, how you chew and your dental hygiene practices. The better you treat them, the better they’ll treat you.

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.

Dental Hygiene for Mommies-to-Be | Riverside Dentist

It is an exciting time when you are expecting. Not only are you creating a tiny human in your body, but your entire life is about to change. But does EVERYTHING change when you’re having a baby? What about our day-to-day routines, like dental hygiene?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now advises that OB-GYNs conduct basic routine oral health assessments during prenatal visits, and recommends that pregnant women see a dentist during pregnancy. Routine cleaning, x-rays, and local anesthesia have been determined to be safe during pregnancy, so standard dental procedures such as dental fillings and root canals can be handled properly during pregnancy.

Pregnant women are particularly prone to periodontal disease due to hormonal changes. Research has shown that women with periodontal disease are at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight infants. For that reason, pregnant mothers with sore, swollen, or bleeding gums should be sure to schedule a checkup and cleaning because treating gingivitis early is significantly easier than treating advanced periodontal disease.

It has also been discovered that decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby, so proper cleaning can help minimize the presence of bacterial colonies in the baby after birth, decreasing the likelihood of decay in the child.

Beyond routine cleaning, typical dental advice still applies: minimize sugary foods and drinks, brush with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and visit a dentist twice a year for a professional checkup. These simple steps will not only apply to your pregnancy, but are also great habits going forward.

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.