Do You Think You Have Sleep Apnea? | Dentist in Riverside

Now that we are beginning a brand-new year, many of us have begun to make subtle lifestyle changes. One aspect that can really work wonders for our overall health is our sleep patterns. The more sleep we get, the more time our bodies have to heal and refresh. However, if you have a sleep condition, like sleep apnea, it is difficult to get those sleep benefits. For many of us, life’s stressors leave us sleepless more than we’d like. For others, the issue is far deeper than that. If you are one of these people, taking the time to figure out why you are having these issues and ways to improve those issues.

Facts are facts, one in five people have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleeping disorder that is caused by the constriction of throat muscles while you sleep, causing the inability to breathe. Once the brain realizes there is no breathing, it jolts the body awake to restart it. Breathing is restored, but sleep has been interrupted.

Unfortunately, it’s likely someone sleeping around you is more bothered by it than you are, but if you find you have the following symptoms, it’s time to get checked out:

  • Loud snoring
  • Sleepiness or fatigue during the day
  • High blood pressure
  • Choking or gasping during sleep witnessed by others
  • Headaches, sore throat, dry mouth when you wake
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Poor concentration, reaction time, and/or memory
  • Poor decision-making
  • Loss of motivation, moodiness, loss of sex drive and work efficiency

A sleep study is the surefire way to diagnose any sleep issues you may have. If they find that it is OSA, there are ways to help you get your good night’s sleep back.

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.

When It’s Time to Get a Filling | Riverside Dentist

When we don’t take care of our teeth, we can develop cavities. Now it’s time to get a filling. When it comes to what your filling is composed of, there are a few options. And one of these options is amalgam fillings.

Amalgam fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin and copper, but the mercury allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. The compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing, making it ideal replacement material.

Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years. While it no longer is the only material available, as tooth-colored materials have also become a popular alternative, mercury fillings remain a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable.

In recent years, it’s been shown that as the mercury filling wears, which happens over time, very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor are slowly released into the human body. Just how much this affects the human body, if it does at all, is debatable and there are experts that conclude that the amount of mercury released is very low to pose any threat. Still, there has yet to be any conclusion as to whether or not mercury fillings are truly safe.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. You can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. There are also dental amalgams that contain both iridium and mercury, as well as high-copper dental amalgams, both of which contain much less mercury compared to conventional dental amalgams or mercury fillings.

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.

Trust Us. You Don’t Want Gingivitis | Dentist in Riverside

There are loads of dental words that sends shivers down our spine. Dentures, root canals – so many words sound awful when presented to us during a dental checkup. It proves we aren’t holding up our share of the bargain and dropping the ball on our daily hygiene practices. And gingivitis is one of those words…

Gingivitis is a condition that falls in the gum disease family – an inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene and characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. However, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:

  • 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 can 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 will increase the formation of plaque, and a deficiency of important nutrients will impair healing.
  • Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the gums’ ability to heal.
  • Some medications promote gum disease.

If left untreated, gingivitis will often extend from the gums to the bone, leading to periodontitis. When the underlying bone gets infected, it will start to recede away from the teeth and form deep gum pockets, and more bone loss occurs.

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.

Enjoy Your Halloween Candy, but Clean Your Teeth | Riverside Dentist

Now that you have your plans to devour candy later on tonight, it’s important to take the time out to schedule a dental appointment. Who’s thinking about the dentist on the sweetest of days? Your smile is. Not only are we getting close to the holiday season, but having a deep, thorough cleaning will only enhance your holiday photos. We hope that you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, but a professional cleaning is also very important. Why? Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Also, they help to prevent many other health problems.

So, as you can see, there are more reasons to consider a dental cleaning than a clean smile. Still not convinced? The following are the top five reasons you should go to your dentist for teeth cleanings:

Prevention of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease.

Detection of oral cancer. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer. Early detection is extremely important.

Maintaining good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps your dentist keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, you tend to become more confident and happier. Confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. Gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight.

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 Care During Football Season | Dentist in Riverside

It’s Autumn – and for many of us, Autumn means it’s time for to cheer on our favorite football teams, from professional to peewee.

When we think of the game itself, it’s hard not to think of the injuries that come along with it. They wear lots of equipment to “soften the blow”, but there are times when even the most padding can help. When it comes to playing football and protecting our smile, there isn’t a whole lot you can do, but there is something – wear a mouthguard.

There are lots of sports that can cause injury. A mouthguard will help to protect your teeth from falling out or some other dental emergency. After all, most sports can injure an athlete in some way. If you find that you have knocked out your tooth on the field, there are a few things you can do to not only save your tooth but prevent further dental issues while you wait for your dental appointment. Because this is considered a dental emergency, it needs to be addressed immediately if you want to save your tooth. If you act quickly, your severed root will experience damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be reformed.

Assuming you can find the tooth, avoid scraping off any dirt particles, as you risk damaging the root further. Instead, rinse it gently with a saline solution while carefully handling it by the crown. If possible, place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container with saline or milk. Your cheek will also work well for storage in the interim; just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo.

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.

Relax… It’s Just a Dental Appointment | Riverside Dentist

Because we realize that some of our patients are a bit skittish, we have provided a variety of relaxing items to help you to have the most enjoyable time possible. After all, we are a team working together to maintain your smile’s health. Here are some of the comfort options we have made available to our patients:

Local anesthetic. Discomfort from a dental shot is mostly due to the feeling of pressure created by the flow of dental anesthetic. We use a computer-controlled injection system called the Wand, which greatly relieves this discomfort, especially because it doesn’t look like a needle and delivers anesthetic at an optimal flow rate for a comfortable, pain-free injection.

Relaxant gas. Nitrous oxide is a relaxant gas which you breathe in via a small nasal mask, making you very relaxed during your treatment. The effects of the gas wear off within a few minutes of stopping the gas, allowing you to drive home safely.

Dark lenses. We need the bright light in order to see into your mouth properly, so we provide you with tinted safety goggles to shield your eyes.

Headphones. CD players with a variety of music and Netflix movies are available for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Blankets. Ask us for a blanket if you are feeling chilly.

Coffee and juice bar. Yes, we even have complimentary beverages and cookies. We want you to be at your most relaxed.

Compassion. The human element of care, understanding, and compassion are probably the most important in eliminating nerves. We believe we score high in this category, as we are all genuinely nice to each other.

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 the Little Ones to Brush | Dentist in Riverside

Boy brushing his teeth

Parenting is never an easy job. We need to keep our tiny humans safe while we teach them how to navigate life in the best way they can, and this will generally come along with a struggle as they grow up. And when it comes to things like oral hygiene, consistency is key. However, we often find ourselves stuck in a constant struggle with children to get them to brush their teeth. If this is something that occurs whenever you try to help your little one, here are some tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Start earlier. Timing can be a huge thing in helping your child adjust to a normal cleaning routine. Sometimes children get crankier as time goes on. With that in mind, try to start your routine earlier in the day, perhaps a little bit after dinner. This will definitely improve their mood.

Give them options. Everyone loves getting new stuff, even if it’s mundane like a toothbrush. There are loads of options on the market – let them choose which toothbrush they use.

Crank up the tunes. Music may play an important role in allowing your child to not only enjoy brushing their teeth, but sufficiently brush their teeth. Choose a song your child enjoys that’s at least two minutes long and get to brushing!

Make it a family affair. Because children love to mimic “big people” doing things, why not make their dental lesson a family affair? It’s not like you don’t need to brush yours as well. The family togetherness will not only reinforce good dental habits but strengthen your bond together.

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 Tips While Away from Home | Riverside Dentist

Hot summer days, nice warm nights – there is nothing better than getaway this time of year. And because many of us plan vacations during the summer months, it is important to pack wisely, regardless of the destination. Let’s face it – we all have that moment of panic, forgetting to pack something important.

So, before you take off on your fantastic summer fun, take a second to make sure you don’t forget the health of your smile. After all, nothing makes a vacation complete more than fun family photos.

Time for a checkup. If you have time to stop by the dentist beforehand, it’s a smart idea. This way you can find out about any issues before you indulge while away from home. If there isn’t time, schedule one for the return home.

Accidents happen. The saying is true. So, if you are traveling far away from home, make sure you have your dentist’s contact information handy. If your destination is in another country, the U.S. Embassy will be the best for dental recommendations.

Forgotten toothbrush. Most places will have replacement toothbrushes available. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If they aren’t available, buy the softest bristled toothbrush available.

Packing right. When packing a toothbrush, make sure you allow it to dry after each use. If you need to pack it up, pack it in a plastic bag, then allow it to dry once you’ve arrived at your next destination. It’s also handy to pack some gum for those times you can’t brush.

Test the waters. Many travel destinations have water some may find sketchy. This is where bottled water come into play. If you find water compromised, rinse your mouth and your brush with bottled water.

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 Crowns: The Most Royal of Dental Enhancements | Riverside Dentist

There aren’t many of us that will ever be considered royalty, but that doesn’t mean that our smile can’t. Sure, most of us have something about our smile that we’d like to change. And many of those issues can be fixed by a dental crown. If you are considering a smile fix, you may want to consider the royal treatment.

A dental crown is a custom-made cap that’s placed over a damaged tooth or implant to restore the color, shape, size and strength. The crown covers the entire tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. There are several benefits that stem from crowns, include the following:

Placing a crown is often recommended to repair tooth enamel and structure. Patients that are suffering from tooth decay, tooth root infection, or oral trauma, such as a chip or fracture, the tooth may ache or feel sore. Once the dental problem is taken care of, the tooth may still be vulnerable to further damage or discomfort. Having crown placed will alleviate symptoms and protect against further issues.

Some patients mistakenly believe that this restorative procedure is complicated or intensive. In all reality, having a dental crown placed is minimally invasive and relatively straightforward. Once the tooth’s enamel is clean and healthy, your dentist will shape your tooth so that it will securely hold the crown. 

Crowns are custom made just for you. Each dental crown is designed according to your exact specifications in terms of the shape, size and color. Patients can feel confident that the dental crown will blend in seamlessly with their existing teeth. Since crowns can fit over a damaged or discolored tooth, they can instantly correct a myriad of dental problems. 

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 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.