Tooth-Embedded Sensor Relays Eating Habits To The Dentist

A data-collecting device that can tell the difference between eating, speaking, smoking and drinking.

Most of us have told a lie or two to the dentist when they ask how many sweets we eat, or how much we drink and smoke. Unfortunately, those days may be over as a team from the National Taiwan University have created a sensor that fits in your mouth and tracks all of your bad habits.

The current prototype is 94 percent accurate, being able to differentiate between eating, speaking, coughing, smoking, drinking and breathing. All of this information can then be sent to your dentist, who will be privy to your oral habits, both good and bad.

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Fitting between two teeth or capable of being mounted to oral fixtures, such as dentures or braces, the device is extremely discreet. The existing prototype uses an external wire for power but the team are looking at ways to create a sensor that would run on an internal battery.

The device delivers data over Wi-Fi, but the team are also exploring the possibility of adding Bluetooth to the features list.

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Remaining challenges include making the device completely waterproof in order to deal with prolonged exposure to saliva, and finding a way to secure it properly so that it isn’t accidentally swallowed or damaged.

Beyond eating habits, some are confident the device could help researchers in dental health get more accurate data related to problems such as teeth grinding, as well as the impact of long-term treatments.

National Taiwan University

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