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.

Before You Place that Next Coffeeshop Order | Dentist in Riverside

For many of us, the day can’t fully begin until we have our first cup of coffee, for others, coffee is more of an afternoon pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. Regardless of the time you drink it, before you grab you next cup, realize that you may want to find another alternative to that caffeine rush you’ve chosen to ingest every day. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease.

Quickly, there are two forms of gum disease: gingivitis – an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis – a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.

Here’s the good news: saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards. Drink water between cups or have saliva-producing snacks to keep your mouth clean.

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 Your Dentist Cleans Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

I know what you’re thinking – if you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Unfortunately, there is more to it than just adding an extra toothbrushing to your day. Teeth cleanings are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. And because we don’t have the knowledge to know if we have any dental issues developing, it is important to have a dental professional take some time to find out. This can be done while cleaning your smile, because they can get into the nooks and crannies of our mouths that our normal toothbrush can’t. This helps to diagnose any of those pesky issues we all try to avoid – gum disease, tooth decay, even oral cancer.

In fact, did you know that your mouth can affect the rest of your body? It’s true. Think of our mouths as our bodies first line of defense. We ingest things through it, and it a germ is on any of those things, they have an instant access to our entire body! So, these checkups and cleanings you’re dodging isn’t doing you any favors. They help to prevent many other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

A tooth cleaning with your dentist will leave your smile healthy, clean and white while also keeping your overall health in check. Early detection is best in any situation. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to find out if you’ve been doing a good job looking after your smile.

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.

Tooth Decay Prevention: Is It Possible? | Dentist in Riverside

If you think about it, our dental issues begin from two sectors – tooth decay and gum disease. But there is only one reason for these issues in the first place – bacteria.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar, an advanced form of plaque.

You may think of mouthwash as merely something to freshen your breath, but it is almost the secret weapon to your dental routine. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s actually wise to use mouthwash prior to brushing to prepare your mouth for a proper brushing by loosening up stuck on particles. Finally, use mouthwash containing fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth. And we know it can be overwhelming, trying to decide which brand is best for you. Next time you’re in for a checkup, talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have about keeping your mouth its healthiest. They’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.

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.

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.

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.

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.