Dental Researchers Come Up With Innovative Mouth Guard to Tackle Tooth Grinding

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A group of dental researchers in Ireland have come up with an innovative new gadget to tackle tooth grinding. A trio of researchers from Dublin Dental Hospital has created a new mouth guard that sends information to a smartphone, as well as your dentist, to identify issues related to bruxism.

Drs Ramesh Babu and Padraig McAuliffe and Professor Brian O’Connell have designed the mouth guard to help combat tooth wear and tear and symptoms such as headaches, migraines and TMJ disorder, which are often linked to grinding the teeth during the night. The researchers estimate that up to half a million people grind their teeth in Ireland.

Dr McAuliffe, a prosthodontist at Dublin Dental Hospital, said that dentists were in need of a test for bruxism, the medical name for tooth grinding, and this lead the team to start work on the new mouth guard. Using advanced technology, the device submits data to the user’s smartphone and sends information to their dentist.

The trio from Dublin Dental Hospital, along with Dr James Doyle, from AMBER, the research facility at Trinity College Dublin, has now launched SelfSense Technologies Ltd,  an off-shoot of Trinity College. The mouth guard will be marketed under the name SmartSplint and the target audience will be dentists. However, patients will pay for the device.

Patients simply wear the mouth guard during the night and activity is detected by hundreds of tiny sensors. The information will be sent to the user’s phone via an app and the dentist will also be able to see the data. Researchers are hoping that the app will not only enable dentists to confirm cases of bruxism very easily, but also it will enable them to encourage good lifestyle habits and identify possible patterns and causes.

 

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