A "smart" mouthguard that could help detect bruxism, dehydration, and concussions has been developed by researchers at the University of Florida (UF).
The mouthguard's developer, Yong-Kyu Yoon, PhD, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, had previously developed dentures that alert dentists to an improper fit, even if the patient wasn't aware. Yoon built on that research for this new device, creating a mouthguard equipped with sensors to measure how much force is being applied by the jaw and which teeth are most affected, according to the university.
The sensors inside the mouthguard can send information to a computer or smartphone via Bluetooth technology, where an oral health professional can study the data, make a diagnosis, and suggest treatment.
"Wearing a mouthguard is less intrusive than spending time in a sleep clinic," Yoon stated in a press release. "It cuts cost when it reduces the number of clinical psychology sessions."
The device could be used by the following:
- Combat veterans with post-traumatic stress, which can lead to bruxism
- Athletes and firefighters by detecting dehydration or dangerous core body temperatures.
- Other healthcare professionals to measure the strength of a blow to the head