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.

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.

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.

Waking Up Without Coffee | Riverside Dentist

We all know that coffee causes our teeth to stain. But did you know that it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease. Don’t worry, periodontal disease is actually one of the most common dental problems in general dentistry, but it isn’t something you want to acquire.

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. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now let’s look at how it comes into play with your coffee consumption. 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.

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.

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.

If I Brush, Why Does My Dentist Need a Turn? | Riverside Dentist

We all know the rules to having a clean, healthy smile – dental hygiene is the main component of this dental hygiene process. So, you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash and you smile feels bright and shiny. If this is the case, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? After all, you’re doing all the hard work on a daily basis. Why does your dentist insist on cleaning your teeth every time you go in for a checkup? Believe it or not, it’s really necessary.

Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Also, because our mouths are the first line of defense to our overall health, these dental cleanings help to prevent many other health problems. Still not convinced it’s necessary? In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are five reasons why your dentist needs to clean your teeth:

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.

Detection of oral cancer. With every dental cleaning comes an oral cancer screening. Early detection is key.

Maintaining good oral health. Cleaning your teeth gives your dentist insight into your habits and can offer tips to improve any technique issues.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy, clean and white, you are more confident and happy, which can only improve your social life and career possibilities.

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

 

Why You Should Make Sugar-free Your First Choice | Riverside Dentist

There you are, at the checkout line with all your groceries, staring at the candy just waiting for you to crumble and buy it. But which pack of gum do you choose? Are you one that will forever be a Hubba Bubba fan, or do you opt for something minty and sugar-free? I mean, what is the difference between the two anyway? Is a sugar-free version really that much better for you?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. This is what is sweetening your sugar-free confections. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar. First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria in your mouth responsible for cavities feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the U.S. FDA and World Health Organization, but like most things in life, should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly. Just make sure you are careful – too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest, and can have fiber-like laxative properties. While chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight 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 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.

Is Chewing Gum Good for My Smile? | Riverside Dentist

We all know we shouldn’t consume a lot of sugary snacks if we want our smiles to remain healthy. Have you ever stopped to think – is choosing sugar-free gum even necessary? It turns out, many sugar-free products 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; happily, it cannot feed on Xylitol. Chewing sugar-free gum containing Xylitol not only prevents 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.

The good news is, gum and mint products are the most common sources of Xylitol for dental impact. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly. How much is regularly? Even as much as 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the U.S. FDA and World Health Organization but should be taken in moderation. Too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest. However, chewing gum a few times per day is a cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, while fighting off cavities, making it a great snack to enjoy.

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.

Is Toothpaste Really Necessary? | Riverside Dentist

Every day we brush our teeth. We wake up, slap some toothpaste on our brush and for the next two minutes, it’s just you and your teeth. But, have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? We know brushing will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. The toothpaste you use cleans the teeth, protects them against tooth decay, and keeps them looking healthy and attractive to look at as well. It also ensures that your breath is nice and fresh as well.

While the brand of your toothpaste really doesn’t matter, neither does the flavor or whether it is in paste, gel or even powder form. All fluoride toothpastes work effectively to fight plaque and cavities and clean and polish tooth enamel. Your toothpaste brand should bear the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval, which means that adequate evidence of safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in controlled, clinical trials.

If your teeth are hypersensitive to hot or cold, consider trying a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These desensitizing toothpastes, which contain strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, protect exposed dentin by blocking the tubes in the teeth that are connected to nerves. Toothpastes containing baking soda and/or hydrogen peroxide give the teeth and mouth a clean, fresh, pleasant feeling that can offer an incentive to brush more, but fluoride is the true active ingredient at work protecting your teeth. Some prefer a tartar-control toothpaste containing pyrophosphates to prevent the build-up on their 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.

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.