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Periodontal Inflammation a Risk With Tongue Piercing

Last Updated: June 22, 2018.

There is an association between tongue piercings and periodontal inflammation, according to two studies presented at EuroPeri9, the annual meeting of the European Federation of Periodontology, held from June 20 to 23 in Amsterdam.

FRIDAY, June 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association between tongue piercings and periodontal inflammation, according to two studies presented at EuroPeri9, the annual meeting of the European Federation of Periodontology, held from June 20 to 23 in Amsterdam.

Clemens Walter, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues examined the correlation between oral piercings and periodontal health or inflammation in 18 patients with a tongue and/or lip piercing. The researchers found that for the 14 patients with a tongue piercing, compared with teeth not affected by the piercing, the percentages of sites with bleeding on probing, attachment loss ≥6 mm, probing depths ≥6 mm, and gingival recessions were more often increased in teeth with close proximity to the piercings.

Bernard Loir, from the Parorthod-LN in Brussels, Belgium, presented two cases of female patients, aged 27 and 32 years, with local periodontal disease and deep lingual infrabony lesions associated with tongue piercing. By careful periodontal examination and cone beam computed tomography, deep pocket, canyon shaped infrabony defects were identified on the lingual side of the lower incisor. Treatment included a proposal for piercing removal, changing bad habits such as smoking, and periodontal surgery to treat the deep pockets and infrabony lesion.

"Young patients with oral piercings should be made aware of the local and global health risks they take by wearing these useless devices, especially if they compound the risk by smoking and a lack of proper dental hygiene," Loir said in a statement.

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