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.

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.

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.

Natural Ways to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea | Dentist in Riverside

We all love getting some good sleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t a luxury for most of us. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but 80% of people use the weekends to catch up on sleep. And if a poor night’s sleep is a common occurrence, this could be a sign of a more serious issue, like obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA is a condition in which a person’s upper airways become partially or completely blocked, causing pauses in breathing while they sleep. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to treat this sleep issue and its varying degrees, both medically and naturally. Here are some of the DIY options:

Weight loss techniques. For some people, carrying excess body weight can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea. Losing excess weight could be a good first step in treating obstructive sleep apnea.

Healthful lifestyle changes. Other health changes could help a person reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, including avoiding smoking or drinking, and taking allergy medications to open up airways.

Side sleeping position. One of the most common approaches to home remedies for sleep apnea is a body positioning pillow or another similar device to keep someone from sleeping on their back.

Raise the head of the bed. Sleeping at an angle of about 60 degrees may help reduce the number of apnea episodes for back sleepers.

Didgeridoo playing. The didgeridoo is a wooden wind instrument from Australia that requires a special breathing technique that could help strengthen the muscles in the upper airway.

Oral or dental appliances. Another home remedy for sleep apnea is wearing an oral device that holds the tongue or jaw in a certain position to help facilitate better breathing. See your dental professional for recommendations.

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.

Thumb Sucking: A Child’s First Dental Issue | Dentist in Riverside

We may not see it as a big deal – in fact, most of us think it’s rather adorable. Unfortunately, thumb sucking can become an issue if it’s allowed to go on too long.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb sucking, or finger sucking, is a natural reflex even seen during an infant’s development in the womb that is known to soothe and comfort a child. The habit may also help to induce sleep, so it isn’t uncommon for toddlers and infants to suck their thumbs as they fall asleep. The question is – how long do you let it go on?

The ADA recommends that the best time to start discouraging thumb sucking behavior in children is by the age of four because prolonged sucking could affect your child’s developing jaw and teeth and cause permanent teeth to become misaligned. In fact, the constant pressure of the sucking motion will begin to have an effect on the mouth and teeth as their teeth begin to come in. The front teeth may protrude, leading to ‘buck teeth’. The child’s bite may also become open, a dental disorder where the upper and lower front teeth cannot touch. Even worse, thumb sucking will begin to have an effect on the alignment of their permanent teeth.

The best way to discourage thumb sucking is to ignore the behavior. But if you notice that your child is continuing to rely on thumb sucking, consider these tips to prevent future damage:

  • Have your child use a pacifier; they’re easier to discourage and are also easier to take away.
  • Create a reward system. Encouragement and praise go a long way.
  • Schedule a consultation with your child’s dentist.

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 ABCs of Fluoride | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all seen it before – fluoride in our water, in our toothpaste, everywhere. But what exactly is fluoride? And what exactly does it do to our teeth? Here is everything you need to know about this mystery additive.

Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay.

After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

So, now that we know it’s great for our teeth, how do we get fluoride?

  • Drink water with fluoride.
  • Use dental products with fluoride.
  • Brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Take a fluoride supplement.

For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

For children 3 to 6 years old, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children don’t have developed swallowing muscles so stay away from mouthwash until they are at least seven years old.

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.

Nibbling on Foods that Brighten Your Smile | Dentist in Riverside

During the holiday season, it is almost impossible not to indulge in the delicious foods everywhere we look. Whilst gathering with friends and family, breaking bread is always a given, whether it be just nibbling on snacks or having a meal.

Luckily, there are loads of foods that are great for our smile – some brighten, others strengthen, but all are delicious. And once the new year hits, take a moment to stop in for a quick check-up.

Here is a general breakdown of beneficial foods during this delicious time of year.

Crunchy fruits and veggies. Crunchy fruits and veggies like carrot, celery and apple are just some of the foods that prevent tooth decay, due to a high fiber content that stimulates the flow of saliva throughout your mouth. The saliva you produce when you eat crunchy veggies, in particular, rinses any remaining sugar away from your teeth before it has a chance to attack healthy tooth enamel.

Dairy. Cheese is full of protein and calcium – both of which are important for the strength and health of your enamel and actively protects the teeth from cavities. And drinking milk after eating sweets also reduced the amount of plaque buildup on one’s teeth.

Seafood. Fish, lobster and shellfish are an excellent source of lean protein, which can help keep your teeth healthy and strong in general. They also contain fluoride, which helps reduce your risk for tooth decay just like the fluoride incorporated in your tap water.

Nuts and other proteins. Nuts contain a good amount of protein, as well as calcium and phosphorous, which help strengthen your teeth’s enamel and stimulates saliva production. Chicken, eggs and other types of lean meat are great for your teeth thanks to their own protein.

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.

Baby Teeth Should Not Be Ignored | Riverside Dentist

When we bring a new life into the world, we do everything we can to keep them safe and happy. We baby-proof the home, buy all of the healthiest foods and read every reference we can find to make sure we are prepared for anything that can happen. There is one thing that has a tendency to fall through the cracks when it comes to our tiny humans – dental health.

It’s easy to think that baby teeth don’t really make a difference because they fall out, but these tiny placeholders can dictate what happens when they are replaced by the permanents. When it comes to general oral hygiene, always remember that consistency is key. And while it will forever be a struggle for parents to teach oral hygiene, it needs to be done. Here are some quick tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Teach them young. 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.

Make it a family affair. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

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 that is at least two minutes long, to ensure the brushing process is done in its full time, and then choose a song that your kid enjoys!

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 Your Little One Needs Dental Surgery | Dentist in Riverside

It won’t be very often, but there may come a time when your little one needs to get some type of dental procedure done that will necessitate the use of anesthesia. As a parent, this could cause a bit of concern. After all, oral surgery is serious enough, but sedating your child is a completely different animal. And thus, we need to ask some questions. Thankfully, your dental professional will be more than happy to address any of your concerns. Because this will be new territory for many new parents, the American Dental Association some questions to ask through every step of the process.

Prior to the procedure:

Who will evaluate my child before the procedure, including their past medical history?

How long should my child go without food or drink prior to the procedure (with the exception of necessary medications taken with a sip of water)?

Will I be giving any sedation medication to my child at home prior to their coming to the office and, if so, what should I be on the look-out for?

What training and experience does the person providing sedation or anesthesia for the procedure have?

Do assisting staff have emergency training and renew it regularly?

Does the dentist have all the permits or licenses required by the state dental board to provide the planned level of anesthesia or sedation?

During the procedure:

In addition to local anesthesia, what level of sedation or general anesthesia will my child be given?

How will my child be monitored before, during and after the procedure until the child is released to go home?

After the procedure:

Will I receive instructions and emergency contact information if there are any concerns or complications after returning home?

It Is Important to Keep Your Tools Sharpened | Riverside Dentist

toothbrush

We all know that maintaining a bright healthy smile requires some work on our part. Not only do we need to visit the dentist regularly but keeping our mouths clean will help prevent issues from developing in the future.

As important as it is to keep your teeth brushed and cared for, did you know that it is equally as important to keep your toothbrush well maintained? After all, your car won’t run as well if you don’t check the oil and rotate the tires. Your smile is no different. Your mouth is home to a multitude of microorganisms, which can most definitely be transferred onto your toothbrush as you brush your teeth. Here are some tips to make sure your toothbrush remains effective and keeping your smile the best it can possibly be:

  • Refrain from sharing your toothbrush with anyone. Sharing a toothbrush could result in the exchange of body fluids and or microorganisms between users, ultimately leaving teeth more prone to infections of some sort.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any toothpaste and debris. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry before you use it again.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. The bristles become frayed upon frequent use and therefore it’s overall effectiveness in cleaning your teeth decrease.

Now that we are getting into the holiday season, tempting treats are going to be abundant; it is our job to stay on top of our dental hygiene as we indulge in the delicious festive treats this time of year has to offer. 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.