Tracking What Goes into Your Mouth

Scientists have developed a new type of sensor that can reside in your mouth and monitor the food you eat and the beverages you drink. Ready or not, the technology is here.

This offers great promise for scientists and for medical and dental professionals who want/need to know what goes into your mouth with great accuracy. This sensor was designed at Tufts University School of Engineering. It is a tiny, wireless sensor that can be attached to one of your teeth. It will bond to the surface of a tooth, and its 2 square graphicstock-excited-bearded-man-enjoying-eating-hamburgers-isolated-on-white-background - SM - storyblocks - Hd7yIdiS2xmillimeters can collect information about your consumption of various chemicals and nutrients.

Scientists believe that this sensor can replace the completely unreliable food diaries. We all know that most of us cheat a bit with a food diary. Our idea of a small order of fries might actually be the equivalent of a doctor’s large order. And it is extremely difficult determine exactly how much salt or sugar you have added to certain foods. “Failing to note” a late-night snack will become impossible, and there will be little opportunity to “fudge” on the amount of candy – including fudge—that you consume.

The technology could be exceptionally helpful to scientists who are studying the effects of nutrients and chemicals on your body. It could also be useful to your physician or your dentist to know how your diet might be helping or harming you. One obvious example might be the person who is doing everything right but is not losing weight. This technology might be just what is needed to analyze how various foods and beverages and being processed by your body. This is the kind of information some of us might want to know in order to adjust your diet to reduce the impact of a particular chemical or nutrient.

When perfected, this kind of technology could help us to understand how medications interact with foods in our bodies. We might learn how to maximize the value of chemotherapy while minimizing some of the side effects. It could also be able to detect and measure our stress levels.

This type of sensor may offer a wealth of helpful information about our diets and our health. It may help all of us to live longer and healthier lives.

Unfortunately, it will take some of the fun out of sneaking an extra serving of ice cream or adding extra salt or sugar to food.

What do you think about these tooth-residing sensors?