August 27, 2012
The school bell has rung and ushered in another year of uniform discussions. The
uniforms were turned down yet again but one might see some new bling (jewelry)
decorating our young people. We see piercings on a variety of body locations and
they can be used as a fashion statement or just a statement. I am most
concerned with the oral piercings.
Oral piercings are usually seen on the tongue, lip and cheek and can cause some
problems. The barbell shaped piercing on the tongue is like a bull in a china shop.
The hard metal banging into the teeth can cause the teeth to fracture.
There is always the risk of infection and/or inflammation at the piercing site from
the bacteria that is naturally harbored in the oral cavity.
Many people are allergic to certain metals that come in contact with the oral
These piercings have parts that are screwed into each other. One might run the
risk of loosening and being choked on, swallowed or aspirated.
Each person has his or her own idea of beauty and what is considered decoration.
But don’t let the pursuit of either endanger your health. Just educate yourself,
avoid spur of the moment decisions, and be careful.
Susan Glenn Caddell, D.D.S.