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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lasers at the Dentist? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When you think about lasers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A sci-fi movie? Chances are you aren’t thinking about your dentist, but lasers are actually more commonplace than you may think. Why? Laser dentistry can relieve and cure several dental conditions you may encounter with added benefits.

A laser is a device that emits a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. When that beam of light comes into contact with tissue, it causes a reaction that can remove, vaporize, or shape tissue. Lasers have been used in several other industries; however, in 1990 they became a common tool for dentists. So, as much as we have come to expect sharp metal objects fixing your smile, you may be pleased to know a laser has replaced many of those tools.

Some of the scenarios where lasers can be used in dentistry are: correcting tongue speech problems, uncovering partially erupted wisdom teeth, removing decay from a cavity prior to filling, removing muscle pulls, managing gum tissue, performing biopsy procedures, reducing the amount of bacteria in periodontal pockets, treating infections, reducing discomfort from canker or cold sores, and activating whitening chemicals when bleaching teeth.

Then there are the advantages: no need for anesthesia or drilling, reduction of symptoms and healing times as well as bacteria in gums and teeth and controlling bleeding during a surgery.

Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, unfortunately using lasers is not suitable for all dental procedure. Make sure to call your dental professional to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.

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.