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    March 08, 2012

    The dental implications of tongue and lip piercings


    Tongue and lip piercing and the subsequent dental complications            


    It looks cool and I am not adverse to the odd piercing but just be aware of the dental problems associated with tongue and lip piercing.

    In a recent review of the literature (ADJ March 2012) the following results were obtained.

    Tongue and lip piercings caused a much greater incidence of

    1. Chipping and abnormal wear of the teeth adjacent to the piercing. More so with tongue piercing

    2. Gingival recession (gum moving off the tooth surface and exposing the root surface of the tooth) The same for both lip and tongue piercing.

    3. Slight increase in periodontal probing depths in the areas adjacent to the piercing however with the increasing age of the piercees this will be come more significant.

    The longer the piercing is in place the greater the amount of damage that is done.

    Habits such as rolling, striking, biting and sucking caused more damage and should be avoided.

    The longer the stem of the piercing and the closer the ornament is to the gingivo/dental complex the more likely it is that damage will occur.

    For dentists and hygienists we must be aware of the potential problems and be able to advise our patients appropriately. We should be advising patients of the  proper care and cleaning and that the type of ornament and stem does have a significant effect. Sleeping or playing sport with large ornaments in place will increase the incidence of damage. Patients should be made aware that lingual recession is pretty much permanant and they will be very unlikely to be able to correct this in the years to come.

    Any further enquiries contact Dr Caroline Downing at advice@dentalcareproducts.com.au

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