Tooth Decay Prevention: Is It Possible? | Dentist in Riverside

If you think about it, our dental issues begin from two sectors – tooth decay and gum disease. But there is only one reason for these issues in the first place – bacteria.

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 (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar, an advanced form of plaque.

You may think of mouthwash as merely something to freshen your breath, but it is almost the secret weapon to your dental routine. 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 actually wise to use mouthwash prior to brushing to prepare your mouth for a proper brushing by loosening up stuck on particles. Finally, use mouthwash containing fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth. And we know it can be overwhelming, trying to decide which brand is best for you. Next time you’re in for a checkup, talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have about keeping your mouth its healthiest. They’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.

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 Have Gingivitis? | Dentist in Riverside

If there is anything a dental patient hates to hear, it’s that they have gum disease. You’ve just revealed that you have poor oral care habits and prefer to skip out on regular dental visits. But why is it such a bad thing? Let’s meet the periodontal disease known as gingivitis…

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. Gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. 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 because hormones cause blood vessels 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.
  • 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.

Teeth During the Holidays: Flossing Edition | Riverside Dentist

We are a week away from the tastiest holiday of the year. Sure, it is a holiday to be thankful for everything in our lives, but let’s be realistic – the food is the main event. And after we dive into our third helping of pumpkin pie, we all know a food coma is immanent. The problem is that all of that over-indulging could have a dire effect on our mouths if we aren’t careful. This is why it’s important to keep all of our dental hygiene routines intact. If we don’t, we will have some issues in the new year. We may not all have a toothbrush handy, but a quick flossing after dessert would work wonders.

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. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk, but nowadays it comes from thin filament cord. There are also handy tools available to help in flossing properly.

The process itself is relatively simple. 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. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion. The goal is to gently scrub the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

So after you’ve given all of your thanks and filled yourself to the brim in family favorites, take a quick moment to thank your smile as well.

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 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.

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.

Why You Need Professional Teeth Cleanings | Riverside Dentist

We all need to visit the dentist on a regular basis, typically twice a year. But have you ever wondered why we need to have these visits? Because dental professionals are the first line of defense against any issues that may be developing inside your mouth. After all, no one wants to have a toothache – that’s why we brush, floss and use mouthwash twice a day. But here’s a fun fact you may not realize: According to recent statistics, more than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental-related illnesses. As for adults, statistics have proven that employed adults lose more that 164 million hours of work each year due to oral health problems. Professionals from the American Dental Association agree that regular teeth cleanings can drastically reduce these numbers by about fifty percent. Why? Because you and your child’s presence in school and in the workplace are vital to future endeavors, thorough teeth cleaning services that will prevent dental problems are imperative. These dental problems can range anywhere from dental cavities to periodontal disease, which lead to you or your child being absent in school or at work.

If individuals choose to delay, or completely ignore your dental visits, you are prone to the increased risk for heart attack or stroke, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer. In order to avoid these life-threatening consequence of poor oral health, thorough teeth cleanings are necessary to enhance your smile and ensure you and your child remain in school and at work.

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

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

What Does a Professional Teeth Cleaning Entail? | Dentist in Riverside

When we go in for our dental checkups, we expect a couple of things to take place – our teeth will be examined, cleaned and if anything is amiss, a treatment option is available. But what does that teeth cleaning actually entail? After all, the cleaning is generally what most patients fear when visiting the dentist. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect the next time you go in for a checkup:

Physical exam. A quick look inside your mouth will help your dental professional see what you’ve been doing with your dental health while you were gone. That little mirror? This is where they use it to check on your back teeth and gums.

Plaque and tartar removal. This is where your dental hygiene comes into play. If you don’t brush well, plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Tartar is removed with a scaler, the scraping sound you are familiar with.

Gritty toothpaste time. Once the tartar is removed, it’s time for a deep cleaning with an electric brush. This is the grinding sounds you hear. They use a gritty toothpaste that smells like the toothpaste we use every day but has a gritty texture that gets those hard to clean spots.

Flossing and rinsing. This sounds exactly like it is – a good flossing session and a refreshing rinse to remove any leftover debris.

Fluoride treatment. The final step is an application of fluoride. Fluoride will help keep cavities away in between dental visits.

Visiting the dentist is something we need to do at least twice a year to keep our mouths healthy, but dental hygiene needs to take place at home as well to keep optimal health.

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

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

Five Top Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Preventing tooth decay for a perfect smile

We all know the spiel from our favorite local dentist: To prevent tooth decay, we need to brush and floss our teeth daily. It should be an easy solution, right?

Yet, tooth decay remains one of the most common medical conditions in the world. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that a whopping 2.4 billion people suffer from some form of tooth decay.

Tooth decay has the potential to cause extreme discomfort in affected patients, from difficulty chewing to image problems due to discolored teeth. So it’s definitely something you want to watch out for (but you didn’t need me to tell you).

In order to avoid these problems, here are a few of the ways that you can prevent tooth decay in your personal life.

Supercharge your personal dental hygiene 

Ok, so you know you need to brush and floss your teeth daily. That’s good, but it shouldn’t be an end-all solution to preventing ugly cavities from showing. So how exactly should you approach dental hygiene in your personal life?

Here are a few tips to improving your dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to sleep. Microbes in your mouth feed on sugars that you eat, leaving behind waste known as dental plaque. Get rid of that plaque to prevent tooth decay before it begins.
  2. Perfect your brushing technique. While it may seem odd to say, there is an art form that goes into brushing your teeth. Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle. 
  3. Replace your toothbrush after three to four months. Besides retaining gross bacteria, old toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque from your mouth.
  4. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash. Besides making your breath smell like cool mint (or whatever flavor you prefer), mouthwash can remove many harmful bacteria that you miss while brushing.

Make sure to take advantage of regular professional cleaning

Going to the dentist gets a bad rap. People around the world dread the day that they have to get their checkup.

In fact, dental phobia is a real thing, with five to 10 percent of people experiencing intense fear of even approaching their local dentist – even in face of major dental issues, including tooth decay.

This is obviously not ideal, as regular dental checkups are essential to preventing tooth decay. Professional cleanings – at least twice a year – allow your dentist to make sure that you’re caring for your teeth and catch any issues before they become too serious.

If the thought of going to your dentist gives you such anxiety that you’d rather not go, perhaps it’s time for a change. It’s the job of the dentist to provide a safe, relaxing place for all of their patients. Look through customer reviews on Yelp or Google and find the best dentist for you.

Keep your sugar intake low

Your teeth are the first defense against anything you decide to eat. And just as eating poorly can cause you to gain weight, it can also increase your chances for tooth decay.

It’s easier said than done, but avoiding snacks that are high in sugar is the best way to avoid tooth decay. Instead of drinking a soft drink at lunch, consider just drinking water.

You don’t have to cut sugar completely from your diet – it’s especially hard to avoid during the holiday season. But try to keep your sugar intake below 10% of your daily caloric intake and you should be fine.

Just don’t forget to brush!

Fluoride therapy

The effect of fluoride when it comes to preventing tooth decay cannot be understated – it’s almost like a secret weapon in your dental arsenal. 

Fluoride has many benefits for healthy teeth. It can rebuild weakened enamel, prevent the growth of bacteria, and even reverse the effects of the early stages of tooth decay. Make sure your toothpaste has fluoride in order to get the most benefit from brushing your teeth.

Other types of fluoride therapy involve fluoride supplementation through the consumption of water, salt, tablets, or drops. Ask your dentist if any of these are right for you.

Bring in the big guns: The power of dental sealant

If all else fails, it might be time to call in the professional. Yes, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

But what exactly is a dental sealant?

Quite simple actually: It’s consists of placing a thin plastic coating over one or more teeth, which eventually forms a protective shield over the enamel. 

Dental sealants protect the vulnerable areas that your toothbrush can’t reach by sealing out plaque and food, giving you an additional layer of protection against tooth decay. 

Tooth decay can be a difficult pill to swallow for anyone suffering from it. But if you take care of your teeth by following these five tips, you can ensure that you never experience the pain and embarrassment that comes with decaying teeth.

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

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

It Isn’t Meant as a Suggestion | Dentist in Riverside, CA

There is nothing worse than getting a bad report card from the dentist. Especially because it is rather easy to look after our teeth properly. Eat well, stay away from over-indulging in habits that can stain your teeth and make sure to follow a proper dental hygiene routine each day. That means brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, rinsing with and antibacterial mouthwash and flossing at least once daily. I know what you’re thinking – someone else is on you about flossing. But dentists and health specialists everywhere are trying their hardest to make flossing more prevalent in individuals’ health routines. There are a million excuse patients use as to why they lack the patience to floss, however, we urge you to take a look at the overall importance of flossing and how it can save your teeth. After all, most adults will develop some sort of gum disease in their lifetime. Don’t you want to avoid that if possible? Here are the talking points:

Unlike a toothbrush, floss is able to get into hard to reach areas and clean out pieces of food or bacteria that can cause plaque to build up. If left untreated for too long, plaque may turn into cavities and worsen into gum disease.

Flossing promotes a healthier lifestyle and can lead to a decrease in health issues all around. Our mouth is our first line of defense against lost of health issues, so a healthy mouth can help fight other issues in the body, not to mention decrease the risk of bad breath.

Lastly, flossing provides you brighter and healthier teeth while promoting a healthier lifestyle. What more could you want?

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.

Keeping Your Smile Past the Holidays | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Aside from all of the hustle and bustle from holiday shopping and celebrate, let’s be honest – the foods are really the reason for the season. We show up for all of the tasty treats this time of year has to offer. However, with great food comes a great amount of overindulgence. And this can lead to dental issues if we don’t take the time to look after our smile. So, in order to help you avoid any dental pain in the upcoming year, here are some tips on what to eat and what not to eat not just during the holiday season, but year-round…

Cheese. Cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth, but it also balances out the PH in your mouth which lessens the damaging effects of acid from a festive glass of wine on tooth enamel.

Unsalted nuts. Nuts contain calcium and vitamin D, both in which are vital for oral health as well as general health. Walnuts are oftentimes used in holiday pastries and they contain zinc, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin E, & B6.

Vegetables. It is always a good idea to promote the habit of eating vegetables. Broccoli and carrots in particular are great for your oral health.

And now the foods that aren’t so good…

Sweets. Let’s face it, the holidays do bring up some of the best sweets ever created, however it is important that you take it easy on sweets.

Sodas. Carbonated beverages are usually loaded with sugar and are excessively acidic which can cause teeth to erode away.

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.