Lip Piercing Can Lead to Receding Gums
Tongue, Lip Piercings Also Linked to Other Tooth, Gum Problems
WebMD News Archive
Mar. 10, 2005 -- People who go in for lip piercing may get more than they
bargained for. Besides attracting attention, they could also wind up with
Lip piercing can lead to receding gums and may make the problem worse, say
researchers from Ohio State University.
They compared the gums of 29 young adults with pierced lips to those of 29
with unpierced lips. All participants were about 22 years old, and roughly half
About 41% of those with pierced lips had receding gums. That's much higher
than the 7% rate seen in those with unpierced lips.
In addition, gums had receded more than twice as much in those with pierced
lips. People who'd had their lips pierced for the longest time fared worst.
Age, gender, and other factors didn't matter; only length of time with a
pierced lip was important.
The study was conducted by professor Dimitris Tatakis, DDS, PhD, and
colleagues from Ohio State's College of Dentistry. They announced their
findings in Baltimore, at a meeting of the International Association for Dental
Tongue Piercing Is Also Risky
Piercing the tongue isn't a better bet. has already been linked to receding gums.
It's not the holes, but oral jewelry that's the problem. The jewelry rubs
along the gum line, and the wear and tear can cause permanent damage.
Besides receding gums, lip or tongue piercings can also cause:
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Nerve damage or inflammation at the piercing site
- Periodontitis (where the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the
teeth and form pockets) resulting in loose teeth or tooth loss
Those results were reported in the Journal of the American Dental
Association in July 2003.