One of the most common dental problems, experienced by one in five Americans, is tooth-grinding, or bruxism. Now, researchers and dentists are developing smart mouthguards that may help you improve your smile. "Equipped with sensors, the mouthguard detects how much force is being applied on it by the teeth as well as which teeth are doing the grinding. The information can then be sent to a dentist via a mobile device," Popular Science writes. Determining whether you have bruxism is one of the first steps toward a healthy smile... but that's not all it can do.
Smart Mouthguards Treat Tooth-Grinding
Of course, as a mouthguard, the devices also prevent the teeth from scraping together -- a measure that can ultimately prevent headaches, stress, poor sleep, sore jaws, and damaged teeth. In time, researchers hope to use the same technology to produced smart dentures and dental implants to alert dentists if prostheses do not fit. While this is promising technology in dentistry, it also has the potential to benefit people outside of dental patients. Smart mouthguards may also be able to detect dehydration or even head trauma in years to come.
The Technology That's Already Changing Lives
Tooth-grinding is a big problem. It leads to even more dental problems and greater health issues. Even so, solutions like the smart mouthguard are still in the works. Current dental innovations are out there, and they're already addressing some of the most common tooth- and gum-related problems. For example, 3 million Americans have dental implants. By contrast, 15 million have crowns and bridges -- but implants are likely to overtake that number in some years, given that they last longer, they are more effective (with a success rate of up to 98%), look and feel more natural, fit better, do not damage the teeth around them, and are unlikely to slip out of place.
New technology is changing the ways dentists treat dental patients and some of the most common problems. A new, smart mouthguard, for example, alerts dentists about the occurrence and severity of bruxism.