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Quintessence International
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Quintessence Int 41 (2010), No. 9     1. Sep. 2010
Quintessence Int 41 (2010), No. 9  (01.09.2010)

Page 731-737, PubMed:20806097


Self-reported complications with lip and tongue piercing
Kapferer, Ines / Berger, Katrin / Stuerz, Kristina / Beier, Ulrike S.
Objectives: Owing to the overwhelming popularity of oral piercing, general practitioners should be prepared to address complications arising as a result of oral piercing and to provide patients with accurate information. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence of early and late complications associated with lip and tongue piercing in a population obtained from a nondental setting. Possible cofactors were evaluated.
Method and Materials: The study cohort included 130 lip and 80 tongue piercings. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine demographic data, smoking habits, characteristics of the piercing worn (time since piercing, material-plastic or metal), postpiercing complications, and possible cofactors.
Results: Prevalence of early piercing complications was 87.83%. Although there was no statistically significant difference in the overall prevalence of early postpiercing complications after lip or tongue piercing, the type of complication differed significantly according to the piercing location. Significant cofactors for early complications were oral hygiene behavior, gender, and the person who performed the piercing. The highest prevalence of late complications was found to be recurrent infections and gingival recessions. As cofactors, time since piercing and oral hygiene behavior had a significant impact on late complications.
Conclusion: Early complications after oral piercing are frequent. Oral health care might be an important tool to minimize early and late postpiercing complications. Owing to the high prevalence of late complications-especially after median lip piercing-persons with oral piercing should attend regular dental checks and receive professional advice on tooth cleaning and oral hygiene.

Keywords: body piercing/adverse effects, complications, gingival recession, lip, questionnaire, tongue