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.

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.

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.

Celebrate Your Smile in the Dentist Chair | Riverside Dentist

It’s National Smile Day! And what better way to celebrate such a happy day than by making sure it’s as healthy as possible. Yes, summertime has just begun so now would be a fantastic time to have a dental checkup – before all of the goodness that summer treats have to offer. Need more reason? Here are the goals of a dental checkup; as you can see, there are loads of reasons to pay your dentist a visit:

Gum disease prevention. Gum disease is a tissue infection surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and DIY care are main factors in prevention.

Oral health maintenance. On these visits, your dentist will look closely for any problems that may have happened in between visits. The sooner you treat issues, the better.

Oral cancer detection. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.

A healthy smile. When you have a beautiful smile, you feel more confident and satisfied with your being. When you feel confident, you live it that confidence.

Brighten your smile. From coffee to snacking on berries, loads of things in our diet can begin to stain our teeth over time. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth.

Fresh breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.

Good overall health. There is a correlation between poor oral health and chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, premature 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.

Do You Take Milk in Your Tea? | Dentist in Riverside

There are loads of reasons to enjoy a cup of tea. To warm (or cool) your insides, to gather with friends, to even get a good night’s sleep. No matter your reason, tea has become a favorite for people around the world. The problem is one similar to other dark drinks – they can stain your teeth over time. But it still doesn’t matter – tea is going to be a staple in everyone’s lives. So, to celebrate International Tea Day (May 21), let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our beloved leafy beverages…

First, let’s take a look at the pros: Black and green tea contain fluoride, which we all know helps ward off tooth decay while preventing cavities by controlling bacteria and reducing acid in your mouth. After all, saliva production is key to washing bacteria from inside our mouths. In fact, when making tea, use tap water for an extra fluoride boost!

Tea also contains polyphenols, which are micronutrients from plant-based foods that reduce gum inflammation and disease. Polyphenols are killing bacteria, while combatting bad breath better than a mint. If that’s not enough, tea is great for our overall health as it’s antioxidant-rich option that can even help slow the growth of certain kinds of cancer, including oral cancer.

And while this healthy drink can tinge our teeth, it isn’t a permanent feature. After your cuppa, why not give your teeth a quick brush? Not only will a teeth-whitening session improve your smile, but daily dental hygiene is the best way to slow down the staining process.

Do keep in mind that sugar and acidic add-ins can erode your teeth and make you more prone to cavities. So, try to limit the lemon, sugar and honey.

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 Health and the Elderly | Riverside Dentist

Aging is just a fact of life, but there are loads of lifestyle changes we need to get used to as we progress through time. Many of these changes will involve our health, but many forget that our dental health is part of it. Older Americans with the poorest oral health tend to be those who are economically disadvantaged, lack insurance, and are members of racial and ethnic minorities. But on top of that, additional circumstances, like being disabled, homebound, or institutionalized also increases the risk of poor oral health. Oral health problems in older adults include the following:

Untreated tooth decay. Nearly all adults (96%) aged 65 years or older have had a cavity; 1 in 5 have untreated tooth decay.

Gum disease. A high percentage of older adults have gum disease. About 2 in 3 (68%) adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease.

Tooth loss. Nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Having missing teeth or wearing dentures can affect nutrition, because people without teeth or with dentures often prefer soft, easily chewed foods instead of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years.

Chronic disease. People with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be more likely to develop gum (periodontal) disease, but they are less likely to get dental care than adults without these chronic conditions. Also, most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs; many of these medications can cause dry mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of cavities.

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.