Oral piercings are not generally a favorite trend of Des Moines, IA dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds. Creative forms of self-expression with the body may seem like no big deal. At least piercings are much more temporary than other forms of body art, like tattoos, for example. Unfortunately, when you pierce your lip or tongue, tooth damage and even tooth loss can result from your bold fashion statement.
Oral Jewelry and Tooth Damage
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, the constant contact between oral jewelry and gingival tissue when someone sports an oral piercing can very likely cause serious damage to the gums and teeth. Chips, fractures, cracks, breaks, and weakened/damaged tooth enamel are often seen from oral jewelry. Gum recession or nerve damage are other common issues. University of Maryland Dental School associate professor, Dr. John K. Brooks, was at the head of research regarding this type of dental health damage. Dr. Brooks said, “wearing oral piercing ornaments, even over relatively short periods, may result in significant deformities to gingival tissue (gums) that might not respond satisfactorily to surgery and, in fact, may lead to tooth loss.”
Gum Disease Also a Concern
The research study looked at five young adult volunteers who all had oral piercings either in the lip or tongue. Three out of the five participants already had signs of severe gum disease (periodontitis). Severe gum infection is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. With periodontitis, your jawbone and gums separate, forming pouches called periodontal pockets that can become infested with bacteria and lead to tooth abscesses and tooth loss. A 19-year-old woman who volunteered for the study had only had her piercing for five short months, and yet still presented with significant gum recession as a result of her oral jewelry.
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