Tongue and Lip Piercings Can Aggravate Periodontal Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Tongue Ring!” by ethan lindsey is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Dr. med. dent. Clemens Walter

Deputy Clinical Director & Director Postgraduate Program in Periodontology (SSP/BZW)
Board Certified Periodontist (D, CH)
Department of Periodontology, Endodontology and Cariology
University Center for Dental Medicine (UZB)

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: For periodontal diseases we have some important risk factors – such as tobacco use or insufficient oral hygiene. However, in some cases these factors do not explain the disease in a given patient. Therefore there is an ongoing need to analyse the pattern of periodontal destruction in each individual. Some years ago, a young female patient presenting an unusually severe periodontal destruction was referred to our department. The patient was periodontally healthy with the exception of the lower incisor teeth. We could not identify any known risk factors. The patient had a tongue piercing.

MedicalResearch.com: What kind of treatment was performed? 

Response: Non-surgical and advanced surgical treatment was performed and was not successful. The young female patient lost teeth. Since then, I have been curious about this association and started to collect cases.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of your research presented at Europerio9 in Amsterdam?

Response: We presented a poster on a retrospective study. We found an association between oral piercings and increased periodontal inflammation, as evident by increased bleeding on probing and increased probing depth and/or attachment loss.

The closer teeth were to a tongue piercing, the more affected they were.

MedicalResearch.com: Would you like to explain your study?

Response: For this study, 18 patients (14 female) with a tongue and/or lip piercing from our database of more than 1400 patients treated in our service were included. The mean age of this population was 28,3 + 7.7 years. Three out of 18 patients wore both, i.e. a total of 14 tongue piercings and 7 lip piercings were assessed. Clinical parameters and the maximum wearing time of the lip and/or tongue piercing were recorded. Periodontal findings in teeth close to the piercing were compared to teeth not affected by the piercing. 

MedicalResearch.com: Why you choose to perform retrospective study?

Response: Due to ethical considerations, it seems impossible to conduct a prospective study. Therefore the suitable design to answer our question was a retrospective study/ case series 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Oral piercings have a negative impact on periodontal and dental health.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We now try to create awareness about the consequences of piercings for oral health and we counsel our patients to remove piercings in order to decrease the risk for dental and periodontal complications. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Yes, our study started as research project, performed by undergraduate students. We are happy to see, that a discussion on oral piercings and its negative effects is now initiated by this project. 

Citation:

EuroPerio9 Abstract 409 –
Calderaro S, Schmidt JC, Weiger R, Walter C
A retrospective study on the association between oral piercings and clinical signs of periodontal inflammation

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