“Our study found that many people with oral piercings have deep pockets and gaps around their teeth and withdrawal and bleeding gums“said the study’s author, Dr. Clemens Walter, a professor at the University of Medicine in Greifswald, Germany.” These are all signs of periodontitisalso called gum diseasewhich can lead to tooth loss. “
Walter and colleagues analyzed eight studies involving 408 people with a combined 236 lip piercings and 236 tongue piercings. Overall, 1 in 5 had more than one oral piercing. Participants report having piercings from one month to 19 years old, and most people wear metal jewelry in their piercings.
Studies compare teeth and gums to piercings with areas elsewhere in the mouth.
The researchers reported that 3 out of 5 studies found deeper pockets around the teeth up to the tongue piercing, and 3 out of 4 found wider gaps between the teeth; 2 out of 3 found bleeding gums and four looked for receding gums found it in all four.
In addition, 3 out of 4 studies looking at lip piercing revealed receding gums in the area.
The review of the study was presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the European Federation of Periodontology in Copenhagen. The research presented at the meetings is usually considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“The findings show that oral piercings, especially on the tongue, negatively affect neighboring teeth and gums,” Walter said in a press release at the meeting. “In those with tongue piercings, the damage is especially noticeable around the lower two front teeth, called mandibular incisors, which are important for eating and chewing food.
The probability of teeth and gums damage it seems to increase over time, he added.
His advice: “People with tongue and lip piercings should remove them to protect their teeth and gums from further damage,” Walter said.
About 5% of young people have oral piercings, with the tongue being the most common site. Women are about four times more likely to have oral piercings than men, according to the study’s authors.
Previous research has led to similar findings. Researchers in the new study called on dentists to tell their patients about the risk of complications from wearing an oral piercing.
There is more about oral piercing at the American Dental Association.
SOURCE: European Federation of Periodontology, press release, June 16, 2022