Oral and dental complications of intra-oral piercing


  • Liran Levin,

    1. Department of Oral Rehabilitation, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
    2. Research and Development Department
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  • Yehuda Zadik,

    1. Zrifin Dental Clinic, Laboratory of Teratology, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
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  • Tal Becker

    1. Military Intelligence Dental Clinic, Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces, Israel
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Dr Liran Levin, Department of Oral Rehabilitation, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger, School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel.: 972-3-544655338
Fax: 972-3-6409520
e-mail: liranl@post.tau.ac.il


Abstract –  The present study assessed the prevalence of oral piercing among young adults and revealed the types and rate of complications following oral piecing, as well as the awareness of the complications. The study included 400 consecutive patients, who randomly arrived at a military dental office. Before dental examination, patients were requested to fill out a questionnaire regarding oral piercing, their awareness of its complications, and the occurrence of complications related to piercing. Intra-oral examination included special attention to piercing-related complications, such as tooth fractures, gingivitis, bleeding, infections, gingival recessions, etc. A total of 389 patients, 210 (54%) males and 179 (46%) females agreed to participate (97.3% response rate), with an average age of 20.08 ± 1.1 years. Of the participants, 79 (20.3%) reported having at least one type of oral piercing; lingual piercing was the most common. Swelling and bleeding after piercing were reported by 41 (51.9%) and 36 (45.7%) participants, respectively. Among the participants, 225 (57.8%) were unaware of the dangers of intra-oral piercing. Clinical examination revealed 15 fractured teeth in 11 (13.9%) participants with piercing. Gingival recessions were observed in 21 (26.6%), mostly in the mandibular incisor area. Dentists should be aware of the increasing number of patients with pierced intra- and peri-oral sites and to provide appropriate guidance to patients who contemplate body piercing involving oral sites.