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Oral Piercings Pose Potential Health Care Risks
Date:7/9/2009

ROANOKE, Va., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Like clothing and hairstyles, oral piercings give teens and adults a way to express themselves. While trendy, this fashion statement poses a number of potential oral and overall health care risks. It's also important to note that oral piercings most commonly involve the tongue, and also the lips, cheeks, uvula or a combination of sites. Oral piercings have been implicated in a number of adverse oral and systemic conditions.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090709/PH44178 )

"Anyone considering an oral piercing should consult a dentist to discuss the possible adverse effects," says Dr. George Koumaras, DDS, dental director for Delta Dental of Virginia, "or if you already have an oral piercing, make sure to schedule routine dental exams so a dentist can check for potential problems."

Known complications of oral piercings include:

  • Pain - People who have oral piercings cite pain as the first thing they notice after the procedure.
  • Swelling - Piercing may cause swelling of the tongue. According to the American Dental Association, in extreme cases, a severely swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and restrict breathing.
  • Prolonged bleeding - A blood vessel punctured during piercing may cause severe bleeding.
  • Damage to the sublingual salivary glands - An improperly placed tongue piercing may damage the sublingual salivary glands (salivary glands under the tongue), which produce five percent of saliva entering the oral cavity.
  • Aspiration (choking) - Jewelry may become loose in the mouth, creating a choking hazard.
  • Plaque buildup - Pl
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SOURCE ProAct Public Relations LLC
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