This mouth guard, that can reveal early signs of decay & periodontitis, is made from zinc oxide-poly(dimethlysiloxane) (ZnO-PDMS) nanocomposite material that reacts with the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) such as hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan released by anerobic bacteria in the mouth.
This mouth guard, when worn for 7 hours, eliminates fluorescence in areas where volatile Sulphur compounds are released. Thus, it flags the sites where dentists might need to take closer look. (Reported by – Chemistry World).
Biomedical engineer Jianahua Zhou, from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, also said that the mouthguard’s low cost, long-term stability and good patient compliance makes it a suitable diagnostic aid for halitosis. Also, it can be worn anytime of the day prior to the appointment as it is transparent in nature.
It is a very innovative invention for halitosis detection considering that existing methods are either unable to localize emissions to a particular part of the mouth, or calls for an expensive and bulky gas chromatography equipment. It is predicted that a mass production of these mouthguards would cost around $3–$4.50.
- X Li et al, Adv. Mater., 2020, DOI: 10.1002/adma.202000060