Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Oral Investig. 2012 Feb;16(1):231-7. doi: 10.1007/s00784-011-0510-6. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

Long-term effects of tongue piercing--a case control study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry, Periodontology and Cariology, University Medical Centre Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075, Goettingen, Germany.


The aim of this study was to evaluate tooth and periodontal damage in subjects wearing a tongue piercing (TP) in comparison to matched control subjects without tongue piercing. Members of the German Federal Armed Forces who had TP (group TP) and a matched control group (group C) volunteered to take part in the study. The time in situ, localization and material of TP were documented. Dental examinations included DMF-T, oral hygiene, enamel fissures (EF), enamel cracks (EC) and recessions. Statistical analysis was determined by χ (2) test and the t test. Both groups had 46 male subjects (mean age 22.1 years). The piercings had been in situ for 3.8 ± 3.1 years. Subjects in the TP group had a total of 1,260 teeth. Twenty-nine subjects had 115 teeth (9.1%) with EF (67% lingual). In group C (1,243 teeth), 30 subjects had 60 teeth with EF (4.8%, 78% vestibular) (p < 0.01). Thirty-eight subjects belonging to group TP had EC in 186 teeth (15%). In group C, 26 subjects with 56 teeth (4.5%) were affected by EC (p < 0.001). Twenty-seven subjects in group TP had 97 teeth (7.7%) with recessions. Lingual surfaces of anterior teeth in the lower jaw were affected most frequently (74%). In group C, 8 subjects had 19 teeth (1.5%) with recessions (65% vestibular). Differences between the two groups were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Tongue piercing is correlated with an increased occurrence of enamel fissures, enamel cracks and lingual recessions. Patients need better information on the potential complications associated with tongue piercing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk