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Am J Dent. 2007 Oct;20(5):340-4.

Oral piercing: complications and side effects.

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Department of Oral Rehabilitation, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



To review current relative literature on oral piercing regarding its prevalence, complications and possible side effects An increasing number of patients present to their treating dental professionals wearing jewelry inserted into the peri-oral and intra-oral tissues. Since the literature is mainly confined to individual cases or a small series of patients, it is difficult to assess the magnitude of risks that face individuals with oral piercing.


The current study was based on scientific literature published in English regarding oral piercing. A Medline search, using the PubMed Bibliographic Index to identify clinical articles published between January 1992 and August 2007, found 11 articles on the prevalence of oral piercing, and/or on the prevalence of complications and side effects.


Three studies reported the prevalence of oral piercing (ranging from 3.4% to 20.3%). Immediate post-operative complications reported were swelling and/or infections (24%-98%), pain or tenderness (14%-71%), and bleeding or hematoma. Jewelry-related complications mainly consisted of tooth fractures and wear (14%-41%) and gingival recessions (19%-68%).

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