Friday, September 13, 2013

Smart Tooth Tracks Smoking, Drinking: Innovation Could Help Dentists And Dietitians Provide Better Care

A new invention stands to revolutionize the work of dentists and dietitians. The so-called “smart tooth” monitors an individual’s oral habits by recording gross and minute movement of the jaw. Developed by researchers from the National University of Taiwan, the innovation will allow doctors to track chewing, drinking, eating, coughing, and even smoking. Given that all oral activity is accompanied by a signature jaw movement, the “smart tooth” could benefit virtually all areas of healthcare. According to the researchers, a doctor treating a patient with breathing difficulties could use the data to derive a respiratory profile. In addition, physicians and dietitians could use the sensor to determine whether a patient is deviating from the treatment, lying about smoking, or eating a particular food. “The human mouth is one part of the human body that is always in constant use. We use our mouth to perform some of the most important daily functions, such as eating, drinking, speaking, coughing, breathing and smoking,” the researchers explain in an accompanying study. “Because the mouth is an opening into human health, this oral sensory system has the potential to enhance existing healthcare monitoring applications such as dietary tracking.”


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