Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(8):649-652. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.649 This issue

Short Research Paper

Oral Piercing and Oral Diseases: A Short Time Retrospective Study

Francesco Inchingolo1,4✉, Marco Tatullo2,4, Fabio M. Abenavoli3, Massimo Marrelli4, Alessio D. Inchingolo5, Antonio Palladino1, Angelo M. Inchingolo6, Gianna Dipalma4

1. Department of Dental Sciences and Surgery, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2. Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
3. Department of “Head and Neck Diseases”, Hospital “Fatebenefratelli”, Rome, Italy
4. Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Calabrodental, Crotone, Italy
5. Department of Dental Sciences and Surgery, Dental School, Bari, Italy
6. Department of Surgical, Reconstructive and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Milano, Milano, Italy

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Inchingolo F, Tatullo M, Abenavoli FM, Marrelli M, Inchingolo AD, Palladino A, Inchingolo AM, Dipalma G. Oral Piercing and Oral Diseases: A Short Time Retrospective Study. Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(8):649-652. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.649. Available from

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Body piercing indicates the puncturing of a part of the body in which jewelry may be worn. In recent years, oral piercing is increasingly popular especially among young people. Body piercing has to be considered as a surgical procedure to all intents and purposes and, as such, has to be performed only by qualified personnel able to assure high standards of professionalism in facilities subject to sanitary inspections.

The aim of the present work is to verify what risks patients may be exposed to and what complications may occur after a healthcare professional performs oral piercing.

Our retrospective study includes 108 patients (74 males and 34 females) aged between 14 and 39 years, who had oral piercing done 12±4 months earlier. All the patients underwent clinical examination to reveal the possible presence of late complications. After piercing, none of the 108 patients developed widespread complications.

Although all patients said they had followed the piercers' instructions, 96% of them reported postoperative local complications such as bleeding within 12 hours of piercing (90%), perilesional edema for 3±2 days after piercing surgery (80%), and persistent mucosal atrophy (70%).

Keywords: Oral Piercing, Oral diseases, Complications of oral piercing.