Between Your Teeth for the Holidays | Riverside Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, it is important to keep up with our busy schedules while staying on top of our daily rituals. One of these rituals is our dental hygiene routines. We may have a busier schedule, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect our smiles – even flossing.

Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk, but nowadays it comes from thin filament cord. There are varying thicknesses and varieties to choose from, depending on preference. Some are waxed, some are electric, or water based. There are also handy tools available on the market that help facilitate you in flossing properly, whether you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated dental work, like braces. So, no matter your reason for avoiding the floss, it isn’t a good one.

Even the process itself is relatively simple. Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion, removing any debris caught in your teeth.

No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. Floss before you brush your teeth or after. It’s just about keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

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.

When Medical Conditions Give You a Headache | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we think about our health, we often overlook our smile, but we really need to rethink this point of view. Our mouths are the first line of defense to many of our health issues, so maintaining good dental health is imperative to our overall health. But it also can work in the opposite direction – certain health conditions can affect your dental health.

One instance of this is diabetes – patients with poorly controlled diabetes can have very severe dental problems. The lack of blood supply can contribute to infections in the gums and bones beneath teeth, and high blood sugar can cause dry mouth, where the resulting lack of saliva contributes to an increase in bacterial buildup and tooth decay.

Sleep apnea, a medical condition where the body tissue often blocks the airway, causing significant sleep problems, can cause dry mouth leading to bacterial buildup and tooth decay, jaw fatigue leading to TMJ disorders, and in some cases bruxism (tooth grinding), which wears down tooth enamel, and can cause tooth loss as teeth are damaged during sleep.

But don’t worry – there is plenty of hope. Keeping up a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mouth. Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid can help minimize your risk of tooth decay, and maintaining sufficient calcium is necessary for bone and tooth health. Couple that with brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, and you have healthy teeth and gums. So, if you’re having medical issues, mention them to your dentist – it may help in diagnosing and treating problems they see within your mouth.

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.

The ABCs of Dental Implants | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Dental implant is a pretty scary sounding procedure for many patients, but it shouldn’t be – so we are here to help. Let’s settle some nerves about this dental procedure so you don’t have to fear it when the time comes. This artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge when you have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants natural-looking and feeling and under proper conditions, can last a lifetime.

There are two types of implants:

  • Endosteal (in the bone). Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone). These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be a candidate for dental implants. You need to be in good oral health and have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant and healthy gum tissue. One more reason it is important to take care of your 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 and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Be Scared of the Dental Chair | Riverside Dentist

dental fear

Does the thought of having your teeth worked on make you anxious or uncomfortable? Do the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills make you cringe? Now imagine if you could have everything done while you nap comfortably and awake to not remembering anything from the procedure. By the use of oral conscious sedation, we can do this for you.

One the day of your dental appointment, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate medication in a pill form that you will take in his office before your treatment. Most oral sedation dentistry patients nap through their visit and leave feeling relaxed, healthy, and well cared for. This can benefit a wide range of patients, including people with:

  • High dental anxiety and fear
  • A severe gag reflex
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • Extensive treatment needs
  • A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are fully relaxed

The good thing is, your dental experience can be virtually painless when you have been given a bit of Nitrous Oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas. This mild sedative inhalant will put you in a euphoric state of relaxation and will help make the dental procedures much easier for you to handle.

We understand that going to the dentist can be very difficult for some people. Dental phobia is actually a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that about 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of this reason. Rest at ease – your dental professional can help ease your fears. Just let them know you have an issue.

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.

Mouth Guards: Do You Need One? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Regardless of the sport, we all enjoy a good game. If you are the athlete, it is important to not only help your team win but stay healthy in the process. Because injury is so prevalent, various equipment is created in order to protect your body from serious injury. One of these protective pieces of sports equipment is the mouthguard.

Just for a quick point of reference, young athletes who have a tooth knocked out can anticipate upwards of $20,000 worth of lifetime dental costs associated with just that one tooth. This is why it is important to protect those pearly whites from any injury. But with so many versions available, which is best for you?

While the store-bought, or “boil and bite”, varieties are relatively inexpensive and represent over 90 percent of the mouth guards purchased today, they can also fit poorly and interfere with speech, breathing and swallowing, making them less likely to be worn.

Athletes can also see a dentist for a custom-fit mouth guard. These guards can be somewhat more expensive, but they are made to fit very accurately to the athlete’s mouth with minimal interference to speech, breathing and swallowing. These types of guards can be made to an ideal thickness in order to properly reduce or prevent dental injuries and concussions.

A third area of the mouth guard industry is the performance mouth guard, designed as much for increased strength, balance and overall improved athletic performance, as it is for tooth protection. These guards utilize repositioning of the bite to better align the athletes head, neck and spine for this increased strength.

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 Did I Get Gingivitis? | Riverside Dentist

woman brushing teeth

No one wants to hear bad news from the dentist, but gingivitis is one of those words a patient absolutely dreads hearing come out of their dentist’s mouth. We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but how do we get it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene, characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. Gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren’t protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
  • Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake, will increase the formation of plaque. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
  • Diabetes
  • Medications, such as anti-seizure medications

While gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the teeth, periodontal disease occurs when the bone below the gums gets inflamed or infected. Gingivitis forms when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria-plaque forms that then sticks to the surfaces of teeth. This is why it is so important to maintain proper dental hygiene. A clean, healthy mouth will keep gingivitis at bay.

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.

Is Mouthwash Necessary? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

It’s tough to turn down a slice of pizza or a piping hot cup of coffee. They are just so delicious, but they leave our breath quite brutal. Use bit of mouthwash & we’re good…right? What if I told you mouthwash isn’t helping your bad breath at all? Sorry, but it’s true.

While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. That’s where our saliva comes in. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance. Saliva is our natural line of defense against bad breath.

Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria collects. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

There were once claims that mouthwash could replace your daily dental routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mouthwash cannot remove plaque. Nothing liquid can remove plaque. It needs to be removed by physically removing it with a toothbrush and floss. If you aren’t doing either of those, the plaque remains on your teeth and the mouthwash cannot get to the bacteria in order to kill it.

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.

Odd Ways You May Be Damaging Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Let’s face it – we are very busy people. And many times, getting things done is more important than our oral health. Here are five unexpected dental culprits—and the best ways to stop them from damaging your teeth:

Cardio. Some are breathing a sigh of relief, but a study has found that long cardio workouts may take a toll on your teeth.

The fix? Brushing before you exercise and rinsing your mouth after consuming anything sugary or acidic. Chewing sugar-free gum can boost saliva production.

Weights. It’s a natural tendency to clench your jaw when you strain to lift weights. That pressure can wear down your teeth or even crack them.

The fix? If you bite down hard when you exert yourself in the gym, consider wearing a mouthguard.

Medications. Hundreds of meds for allergies, depression, heart health, and blood pressure cause dry mouth.

The fix? Chewing on sugar-free gum and sucking on sugar-free hard candy throughout the day will help stimulate saliva production. Stay away from sugary and acidic foods that encourage decay and erosion.

Heartburn. The acid from your digestive system can wind up in your mouth, dissolving your enamel just like the acid from soda or sports drinks.

The fix? If your dentist finds erosion on the teeth located at the back of your mouth, acid reflux is most likely the culprit. Ask your physician how to tackle your heartburn.

Mealtime hygiene. Brushing after eating acidic foods—like juice, fruit, sports drinks, red wine, and soda—can weaken enamel.

The fix? Swish with water to rinse away the acid and wait 40 minutes to brush.

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.

Invisalign: The Way to Straighten Things Out | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Through the advances of cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign is one of the best ways to improve your smile without having to use traditional braces. Yes, Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth using a series of custom-made, nearly undetectable aligners. Whether your teeth are crowded, too far apart or have shifted, Invisalign may be right for you. But before you go making your appointment, take a moment to find out all the information in order to make an educated decision. Because unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this discreet treatment option.

Upon an initial examination, your dental professional will decide if Invisalign is right for you. If you have a healthy mouth, it will be given as an option during your initial consultation. We will then write a treatment plan and take an impression of your teeth. Thanks to the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign carefully translates the dentist’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners to fit your current mouth. The aligners will then begin to move your teeth gradually week by week until you achieve the smile you have always desired.

The clear trays are a very hand-free way to straighten your teeth without having the cumbersome idea of having the traditional metal appliances. There are some subtle changes that will need to be made to your lifestyle in order to have this option, because you may not have the heavy look of braces, but you will need to leave those trays in your mouth for most of the day in order for them to make the necessary changes, and make sure you have clean aligners every morning so some discipline will be needed.

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.

Why a Good Diet Is a Good Idea | Riverside, CA

We all want to live our healthiest, happiest lives. So, we try to go to the gym and eat healthy, in hope that doing these things will ensure our overall happiness. But what if I told you that having a great diet can also improve your dental health, namely gum disease. And since gum disease affects most adults in their lifetime, keeping this in mind as you prepare your body for greatness will be worthwhile for a few reasons.

The New York Times reported a study done with 30 patients with gingivitis, or the beginning stages of gum disease, to an anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. And before you stop continuing to read, trans fats, sugar, dairy and other animal by-products were still involved but kept to a minimum. In addition to these healthy foods, vitamin D was also given on a daily basis. To add to this study, both patients on said diet and those not were told not to use floss or other methods to get gunk from between their teeth.

The results? After eight weeks, not only were the dieters way healthier than they were, but their bleeding was minimal compared to the non-dieters. But, keep in mind that there weren’t any differences in plaque development or inflammation blood markers between the two groups.

So, what did we learn from all this? It is important to keep a healthy diet in our lives in order to live our best lives, but it is also important when it comes to keeping a healthy mouth. And who doesn’t want a great dental checkup?

Study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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.