Experts develop ‘sensor’ dentures

Scientists have developed dentures fitted with sensors to reveal the tongue’s hidden movement during speech.

The sensor dentures record pressure exerted by the tongue which could enable researchers in Grenoble, France, to minimalise the speech interference of false teeth and braces, reports New Scientist.

The team claims it’s very difficult for them to know how much pressure is exerted by the tongue on the teeth while producing some speech, for example when making a ‘T’ sound.

Earlier, such measurement required the researchers to stick sensors to people’s teeth, or embedding them into an artificial palate, which actually hampered the normal functioning of the tongue.

But, to avert this problem, the French team opted to hide their sensors inside dentures made for 20 volunteers who had already lost their teeth.

They specifically designed individual devices for each patient, having one or two sensors embedded inside.

Then they were arranged on the palette for recording tongue pressure while pronouncing particular consonants.

The output was transmitted to a computer via a wire running along the inside of the cheek, but away from the tongue.

Then, the sounds made by a person were simultaneously recorded using a microphone.

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