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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants | Riverside Dentist

When we are deciding to improve our smile, there are plenty of ways to do so. Some like the look of white teeth, so they brighten their smile with whitening treatments. If you’re missing teeth, there are a few options, like crowns and veneers, but there is also another option – the dental implant.

Dental implants are the best long-term solution for missing teeth because it is a complete tooth replacement. There are three components: the post, abutment, and restoration. The dental implant post looks like a screw made of titanium and integrates into the jawbone like a tooth root. The abutment is attached to the post, and the restoration, or crown, is attached to the abutment. With dental implants there are plenty of immediate benefits including, improved speech, easier eating, improved comfort and overall improved oral health. Here are some others:

Conserve your jawbone. With a bridge, your jawbone will eventually begin to deteriorate underneath the missing tooth. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your jawbone may lack the integrity to get implants in the future without a dental bone graft.

Stop your teeth from shifting.  When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth will eventually begin moving to fill in the space, causing complications. Placing a dental implant will keep your teeth properly spaced and make it easy to keep them clean.

Preserve your appearance.  When your jawbone deteriorates because of missing teeth, it often causes your face to appear sunken in, making you look older. People with dentures often complain of having thin lips and sunken cheeks. Dental implant posts provide the stimulation your body needs to produce dense, healthy jawbone material and keep your face looking full.

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.