Tooth Sensor
A sensor that embeds within a single tooth.

Whether we eating, drinking, talking, coughing, breathing or smoking, our mouths are always in use. Because mouth is an opening that can yield health information for our body, a team from National Taiwan University created a sensor that embeds within a single tooth.

Mostly the nutritionists frequently suggest patients to keep a food diary with them to track their meals and evade overeating and make tabs on nutrients like fat, vitamins, and salt.

But listing down everything you eat on a daily basis is tiresome. In the future, we may be able to track our food intake with a sticker that is attached to our teeth.

The Tufts University researchers have created a tooth sensor that can track one’s salt, alcohol, glucose and send the statistics to a device ( wireless connection). This sensor has the dimensions of two-millimeter-by-two-millimeter stretchy sensor that can link to a tooth’s closely rutted surface.

This sensor consists of three layers which comprise of two outer gold rings and an inner layer of bioresponsive substantial that is subtle to salt, alcohol, and glucose.

Through this, all three layers can act as tentacles, giving out the information to cellular devices like smartphones and tablets. And if we talk about the material of the prototype, it is only sensitive to the alcohol, salt, and glucose. The researchers are anticipating for it to become aware of a far wider range of chemicals and nutrients.

Database of Food consumption:

If you want to think about nutrition management then, in this case, you can go forward with the sensor and engineer it to have a database of food consumption.

Fiorenzo Omenetto, a professor of engineering who directed the research says “It tells us that we are engaging ourselves too much in sugar or something like that”.

Wireless Communication Modules:

The scientists have developed a device that is wearable for observing our food consumption.

Most of them are in the form of mouth guards.

The American and Japanese scientists just developed devices that can monitor uric acid and monitor glucose. Both of these devices comprise wireless communication modules and biosensors. But these devices demand a well-wearing mouth guard.



Usually, the diabetics could hypothetically use the new tooth sensor to observe their sugar consumption and transmit the data to their doctors. This could be useful for people with other medical conditions that need them to observe their eating. For instance, patients with high blood pressure who need to restrict their salt or people with the celiac disorder who need to entirely stop gluten can make a great use of it.

So this device could potentially act as a detective to physiological states like changes in the saliva that signal mounting gum syndrome. Perhaps it could become aware of some chemical indications of fatigue and could also indicate when you are too exhausted to drive.

At Imperial College London, a professor of bioengineering, Ben Almquist says that the biosensors can become aware of modifications in saliva only because of the existence of compounds such as alcohol, sugar, and salt.

But Bem Almquist also says that there will be important obstacles just before the technology is ready for the daily use of food diary supernumerary.


Using sensors in saliva:

Ben Almquist further says that the smaller amount of multifaceted uses might be more rapidly observed. The one thing that is very important in monitoring critical care patients is noticing mixes in saliva like lactate as well as athletes for the duration of training.

How it can be used?

As a matter of fact, the sensor might be simply mounted on the back side of a tooth where it’s not visible. The main front tooth was only used in Tufts press material only just to show off the technology to the world.

What and how much to eat?

For an ideal diet, it might be ready to lend a hand to the users to keep a record of what they have eaten and how much, which would be beneficial for those who try to lose their weight. It could also assist someone in making a large dietary modification.

It might help us for enhanced understanding of human diet and nutrition, letting researchers make decisive links in the middle of dietary consumptions and health.

At this time, most of the sensors can easily detect what you have eaten. But it still has ways to measure how much of any one constituent you have taken so far.

Also read: NO to Needles!


One of the research team says that we are creating a brand new nominally hostile system that can identify and observe gum ailments. It would be advantageous to the sixty-four million U.S. citizens with the periodontal syndrome and will assist the dentists.

Inspired by: Big Think

Avatar for Dr. Hafsa Akbar Ali

Dr. Hafsa Akbar Ali

I have a MBBS from King Edward Medical University and did my clinical training at Pakistan’s Mayo Hospital, one of the most prestigious medical institutions in South Asia. My passion for medicine led me to pursue postgraduate training in the US as well, where I received an MD. My writing at TechEngage covers the latest advancements in medical technology.

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