Dear Doctor Magazine - Issue 1 - (Page 52)
consulTaTions in oRal HealTH & Hygiene Body Piercings and Teeth The dangers of tongue and lip piercings to dental health A Consultation with Dr. Steven Gold Dear Doctor, My daughter has a tongue piercing and wears a metal ball in the middle of her tongue. She has already chipped her lower front tooth. Can this piercing result in other dental problems? Dear Katie, ongue and other piercings can cause many clinical problems. Tongue bolts, as they are known, have resulted in a variety of problems including chipping, sensitivity and pain to teeth. More frequently, periodontal (gum) problems may result. These may appear as recession, inflammation, infection and bone loss. Rarely, nerve damage can occur when placing a tongue bolt. If she continues to wear the tongue bolt she should consult with her dentist about the frequency of her dental checkups. Even though wearing oral ornaments may be in vogue presently, it is a trend that can have significant long-term effects. The Journal of the American Dental Association has noted that the most common sites for intraoral piercings are the tongue and the lip. The American Medical Association recently reported a case of severe facial pain following a tongue piercing in a teenager, a student in Rome, Italy. Afterwards she started to get electrical shocks 20-30 times a day in many areas of her face. A neurologist explained that the tongue bolt irritated the nerve to the tongue and was the cause of these neurological symptoms, a condition known as trigeminal neuralgia. The bolt was removed and two days later the pain was gone. Tongue bolts can be painful to have placed, the tongue is rich in blood vessels and nerves and much bleeding can occur. Think about how painful it is when you just bite your tongue or lip accidentally. Many question why people have oral or other piercings or markings like tattoos; fashion and peer pressure are usually cited. Make sure they don’t become “permanent reminders of temporary emotions”, in other words try not to make changes to your body that may be irreversible. Whatever you do, get advice first and learn as much as you can about all the ramifications before you make the decision to go ahead. The topic is worthy of discussion with your dentist first. Sincerely, Steven I. Gold, AB, DDS The editorial content in this magazine is a forum for you and your families dental concerns and is not influenced by commercial interests. No action should be taken based upon the contents of this magazine; instead please consult with your dental professional. T About the Author Steven I. Gold, AB, DDS Dr. Steven I. Gold is the 12th recipient of the Scoop Award for his service to the profession. He received his dental degree from New York University College of Dentistry. He completed his certification in Periodontics at Columbia University College of Dentistry where he is currently a clinical professor. Dr. Gold has served as president of the Northeast Society of Periodontics and the International Academy of Periodontics and has published and lectured extensively. 52 Dear Doc tor w w w. D e a r D o c to r . c o m
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.