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Dent Traumatol. 2006 Feb;22(1):7-13.

Prevalence and risk of traumatic gingival recession following elective lip piercing.

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Department of Oral Rehabilitation, University of Otago School of Dentistry, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence, risk and odds ratios of gingival recession defects associated with elective lip piercing and wearing of stud jewelry, and to attempt to identify risk factors that might permit the incidence of recession and its severity to be predicted, using Miller's classification. Ninety-one subjects with lip piercing and labrets were evaluated with regard to gender, age, smoking history, orthodontic history, and labret characteristics. An age-matched group of 54 individuals without peri-oral piercing provided the control. Gingival recession was recorded on teeth opposing a labret in 68.13% of pierced subjects. By contrast, only 22.2% of unpierced individuals demonstrated recession. The odds ratio between pierced and control groups indicates a likelihood of recession 7.5 times greater in a pierced individual wearing a labret than in an unpierced individual. Logistical regression analysis showed that age, gender, smoking and labret configuration did not significantly influence the development of recession. Furthermore, an illustrative example indicates that piercing and provision of a labret might typically increase the risk of recession occurring from 34.4% (pre-piercing) to 80.8 %. Recession severity was greater in the pierced group, with Miller's class 2 and 3 defects observed in 18.7% of the pierced but not at all in the unpierced group. Ordinal regression identified previous orthodontic treatment as the only significant predictor of Miller's grade. We concluded that a clear link exists between lip piercing, labret use and gingival recession. Belief that labret placement and configuration can be modified to provide protection is unfounded.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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