Dentist - Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, PS

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New Chewing Gum Test Could Help Identify Inflammation

Missing teeth are a common problem. In fact, over 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in either one jaw or both, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Implants are the recommended treatment for a missing tooth by most dentists, and 3 million people in the United States receive implants every year. Since implants are the best option for a missing tooth, according to dentists, the success of those implants is very important.

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Nitrous Oxide: Relaxed Enough to Laugh

For many Americans, both young and old, a trip to the dentist is something to dread. The reasons behind dental anxiety range from bad past experiences to cinematic misrepresentation of the profession to even inexplicable, irrational phobia. In a quest to better patient relations, dentists across the country have worked to find new ways to help patients relax at the dentist.

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Stronger Dental Fillings on the Horizon

Dental fillings have been around for thousands of years, and historians continue to find proof of their existence from earlier and earlier centuries. The most recent discovery was made in Italy of a filling believed to be around 13,000 years old. Of course, fillings have come a long way since the days of using asphalt material, beeswax and hair to repair teeth!

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What Kind of Doctor to See for Sleep Apnea

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea affects more than 18 million people in the United States alone, and the disorder is likely to be under-diagnosed. For those who do seek treatment, one of the most confusing parts is deciding what kind of doctor to see. Here are five different medical professionals who treat sleep apnea and why you would consider each one:

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Custom Comfort Plans for Each Patient

A trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread. Here at Dr. Norman’s office we are transforming the experience one patient at a time. At the core of our efforts is a custom comfort plan tailored to each patient’s needs. A few of the highlights include:  

  • Music from the patient's favorite Pandora station
  • Room preset to the patient's preferred temperature
  • Heated blanket, if desired
  • Complimentary nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for those with dental anxieties
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This New Toothbrush is Taking the Internet by Storm

The world’s first, fully automatic toothbrush is here and it’s taking the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter by storm. The revolutionary toothbrush concept, Amabrush, has raised over $1.4 million after setting an initial goal of $57,052.  

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Women Get Sleep Apnea, Too

 When you picture the typical sleep apnea patient, what comes to mind? For many, it's an image of an overweight, middle-aged man snoring through the night. This is a common conception not only with the general population, but also with doctors, according to Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a dentist in Everett, Washington, who treats many sleep apnea patients in her practice.  

"For years, men have been the poster children of sorts for sleep apnea," she said. "There are many reasons for this. Women are affected differently by sleep apnea in many cases and don’t always snore. They are often misdiagnosed since their symptoms don’t always align with a doctor’s idea of what a typical sleep apnea patient looks like."

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Could Estrogen Help Prevent Gum Disease?

A new study from the University of Buffalo has found that estrogen therapy to treat osteoporosis could help prevent gum disease in older women. Researchers looked at nearly 500 postmenopausal women, 365 of whom had been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Of those 365, 113 were receiving estrogen therapy as treatment for their osteoporosis. The results of the study found that that the women receiving estrogen therapy for at least six months had periodontal pockets that were shallower than those who weren’t receiving the treatment. In addition, the women receiving estrogen therapy had less space between their teeth and gums and less bleeding of the gums than those who had not been receiving the treatments. 

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Disrupted Sleep Could Increase the Risk for Alzheimer's

A new study from Washington University in St. Louis has found a link between disrupted sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The study, conducted in partnership with Stanford University and Radbound University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and published in the medical journal Brain, shows that continued poor sleep during middle age could increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease as the patient ages.  

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Start Retirement With a New, Improved Mouth

When you reach the age where you start thinking about retirement, you may think about the relaxation and extra time for travel, spending time with family and pursuing favorite hobbies. One thing you're probably not thinking about is dental care -- and how a lifetime of dental care, likely with different dentists, may have left you with mismatched teeth and an imperfect bite.  

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A Dental Visit Before Cancer Treatment Can Help Prevent Infection

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments used by medical professionals to eliminate cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute says that nearly half of all cancer patients are treated with radiation at some point in their treatment cycle. It works by damaging the cells’ DNA in order to stop them from dividing and destroy them.

There’s a lot of information available for patients regarding what to expect when faced with this intense treatment option, but not much on how it affects the teeth and mouth of patients.  Head and neck radiation can cause a number of complications when it comes to oral health. These include:

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Snoring Can Tear a Marriage Apart

 Loud, obnoxious snoring. It’s an issue that comes up in sitcoms and television shows with increasing regularity. The audience laughs on cue as the spouse covers their head with a pillow and tries to fall asleep next to a gasping and snorting partner. But how funny is the true reality of this situation for the spouse of a snorer?

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 90 million Americans snore and up to half of them are snoring due to a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This condition is characterized by gasping, snorting or snoring during sleep. This occurs because the airway is blocked which causes the patient to stop breathing for several seconds up to thousands of times a night.

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Swedish Researchers May Have the Key to Treating Cold Sores

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Known also as canker sores. Those red, painful spots or ulcers that appear on the inside of the lips, on the tongue or inside the cheek and make talking and eating painful or difficult. Sufferers of canker sores know the pain of this condition all too well. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden are working to change how canker sores are treated by identifying potential causes of the condition

Treatments for the condition usually include topical analgesics to reduce or numb the pain, and in many cases, just waiting for the sore to go away on its own. Canker sores are also hard to distinguish from cold sores. As a result, they are also often treated with the same antiviral medications used for the treatment of cold sores. 

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Can Chewing Your Food Fight Against Illness?

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom report that the act of chewing food stimulates the body to produce cells critical to the body’s defense system against infection and illness. These cells, known as T helper 17 or Th17 cells are part of the body’s adaptive immune system, which fights off harmful disease causing bacteria. Researchers have known that these Th17 cells are produced in the digestive system and the skin amid good bacteria, but they did not know how or why these cells were produced in the mouth.

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The Stages of the Dental Implant Process

When a tooth is lost it can leave you feeling self-conscious, but it can also affect more than just your pride. A lost tooth can affect your ability to chew and over time, it can lead to changes in your mouth. When a gap exists in the mouth, other teeth move and shift to fill the space. This can lead to a whole host of problems including misalignment, crowding and jaw bone loss, among others. The most important thing is having the tooth replaced as soon as possible to avoid any shifting or complications with the jaw bone.

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The Four Stages of Gum Disease

 Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. It’s also incredibly common even though it’s highly preventable in most cases. A consistent, efficient oral hygiene routine that consists of brushing twice a day and flossing can do wonders to help prevent the complications that come with this damaging disease. Seeking professional care as soon as you notice an issue will help you reverse the damage before it becomes more severe. There are four stages of gum disease that increase in severity and invasiveness of treatment as it progresses.

Stage One-Gingivitis 
The earliest stage of gum disease is marked by swollen, red gums and sometimes bad breath. Bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms and the easiest to notice. The good news is, since bone loss has not yet begun, the damage done in this stage of gum disease is usually reversible with treatment.

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New Bio-Foam May Replace Bone in Jaws

Dental patients with periodontitis and other periodontal diseases are at risk for losing jawbone because of their condition. Researchers from New York and Texas are collaborating on a material to serve as a replacement for lost jaw and skull bone material.

Periodontitis is an infection of the gums and other tissues that surround the teeth and attach them to the jawbone. The condition also causes irritation and inflammation of the gums, painful abscesses and tooth loss. Periodontal infections also put patients at risk for endocarditis, a serious and potentially life-threatening infection of the lining of the heart muscle.

Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Texas A&M University have developed a new foam product designed to replace bone lost to injury or infection. The foam, which can be shaped when heated in warm saline, allows physicians to fit the material to fill into hard to reach and uneven areas. Once the material is placed, the material hardens. The sponge-like foam encourages bone regeneration because its surface is covered with a special coating designed to attract bone cells and slowly dissolves as new bone is generated.

The ideal use of the material is in small areas of bone loss. Researchers on the project say the material could potentially be used in a larger area, but would require splinting to support the area until new bone has fully formed.

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Is Tooth Enamel the Model for New Airplane Materials?

Tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in the body. Known for its strength and ability to flex, tooth enamel endures a large amount of force during chewing and biting. Tooth enamel's ability to stand up to this force has caught the eye of research at the University of Michigan interested in building stronger airplane flight computers.

Flight computers experience a significant amount of pressure caused by atmospheric changes when in flight. The pressure on these devices and other solid materials in the airplane’s may cause cracking and damage. The materials found in airplanes that are softer or more flexible hold up to the vibrations and pressure exerted on them from being in flight.

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Strawberries May Be the Newest Weapon Against Oral Cancer

Researchers at the Ohio State University have discovered a potential weapon against oral cancer: strawberries. A study at the school’s Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute show that the phytochemicals of the fruit may help to prevent oral and esophageal cancers. 

The project tested the enzymes of the saliva of both smokers and non-smoking study participants on the phytochemicals of strawberries. Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants. Many phytochemicals have a positive health effect on the body. The study also examined participant DNA that is affected by smoking and oral cancer risk.

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Fluoridated Water Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging dentists across the country to review annual water quality reports for the communities they serve. The CDC is encouraging dentists to review the reports in order to understand the fluoride levels that their patients are exposed to through drinking water. Understanding fluoride level exposure in the drinking water of patients gives dentists insight into their patients’ oral health.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil and water. Fluoride was first added to the drinking water system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Since then, it has been added to many public water drinking systems across the United States as a preventative against tooth decay. Seventy-five percent of cities and other municipalities across the US have fluoride in their public drinking supply. This translates to over 200 million Americans receiving fluoride when they turn on the tap.

The fluoridation of public drinking water is considered one of the top 10 medical advances of the 20th century, according to the CDC. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth against bacteria that cause tooth decay. Teeth are demineralized by acid formed when the bacteria found in dental plaque and sugars in the mouth left behind from food meet. This acid attacks and weakens the tooth’s enamel, leaving it susceptible to decay.

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3601 Colby Avenue, Everett, WA. 98201
Phone: 425-212-1975
Fax: 425-339-9145

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