(562) 924-1523 10945 South Street, Ste. 200A, Cerritos, CA 90703

June 3, 2011

The Perils of Piercing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Douglas Urban @ 9:10 pm

Dentists want to preserve, maintain, and if necessary restore teeth to full function and health. Therefore we preach prevention, encourage daily brushing and flossing, and recommend fillings and crowns to repair decayed teeth. Also, we inform people of harmful habits that lead to unnecessary dental problems. One of these is oral piercing.
I have not seen mature people (over thirty- something) succumb to this desire to poke a hole in their tongue and place a metal stud to show off. However, I have seen our teens and twenty year olds carry their body piercing habits onto the lips and into the mouth.
Let me tell you about the good things that happen when this is done. Nothing!
Now let me tell you about some of the adverse events that have occurred as a result of oral piercing. There have been several reports of severe infections and death as a result of bacterial infections. In fact a young British woman died of blood poisoning and pneumonia within 48 hours of tongue piercing this year. Although this is rare it can happen and would never have occurred if she declined to have the procedure.
Also some young people have experienced tooth movement as a result of pressing the metal ball of the tongue bar against the front teeth. Spaces and gaps are now appearing between the two front teeth. Teeth move when constant light forces are exerted against them. This principle is the basis for orthodontics. When random forces are applied random unpredictable events occur.
In my practice I have witnessed fractured teeth as a result of the metal banging against teeth. This has resulted in some expensive restorative work.-work that would have been unnecessary without piercing and tongue bars.
Lastly, I have observed severe recession of the gums around the lower front teeth. Tongue bars press against the gums on the back of the front teeth and the gums shrink away leaving bare root surfaces. Consequently these teeth become very sensitive and eventually get loose. Lip plugs bang against the front of the teeth causing recession on the front side. A lot of these defects cannot be repaired and will develop into major problems later on in life. Again these self induced dilemmas would never have occurred without piercing.
The ADA does not recommend piercing “because of its potential for numerous negative sequelae”. I am not aware of any dentist who approves of this trend. I can only encourage everyone to spread the word.

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10945 South Street, Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
Dr. Douglas Urban Cerritos CA dentist (562) 924-1523 info@drdouglasurban.com