Wi-Fi Enabled Tooth Sensor Tells Doctors If You've Been Overeating or Smoking

Researchers at National Taiwan University have developed a tiny sensor that can be embedded into a tooth cavity, dentures, or braces to stop you from lying through your teeth, in a manner of speaking. The sensor is able to detect with nearly 94 percent accuracy common oral activities such as chewing, drinking, speaking, and coughing. The end goal of something like this is to enable healthcare applications, such as fluid or intake monitoring, or to tell if a patient has been smoking.

There have been other similar sensors before, but rather than being placed on the body, this one goes inside the body, right in the mouth. According to the researchers who developed the device, the advantage of this placement is that it's able to more accurately capture the motion of oral activities.

Tooth Sensor
Image Source: National Taiwan University

"Because the mouth is an opening into human health, this oral sensory system has the potential to enhance oral-related healthcare monitoring applications such as dietary tracking," the researchers say.

The sensor is an accelerometer that analyzes unique mouth movements for different oral activities. The breakout board that it's attached to measures 4.5mm by 10mm, small enough to be placed inside a tooth or dental equipment. It's coated with dental resin to protect it from saliva. While the prototype is a pretty barebones system, the researchers say in actual deployment, it would also include a small Bluetooth radio to wirelessly transmit data to a nearby mobile phone for data analysis and oral activity recognition.