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Oral piercings can damage dental health
Updated: 12/2/2009 6:59:57 PM

Oral piercings can damage dental health Many young people decide to get their lips and tongues pierced in an effort to express their individuality, but some of them do not realize they could be damaging their dental health.

Dr Jennifer Eisenhuth, an orthodontist in Minneapolis, says young people need to take certain facts into consideration before deciding to get an oral piercing. For example, the dentist says that many individuals who have a tongue ring or a barbell tend to play with them by sliding them across their teeth. This habit can result in chipping a tooth and, if the barbell is long enough, damaging gums.

"Long barbells have an increased opportunity to damage the gums because they reach the gums more easily than short barbells," said Dr Eisenhuth. "Gum recession is bad on its own, but long-term consequences can mean some pretty significant dental problems."

The California Dental Association says that receded gums can sometimes be repaired by grafting tissue over the portion of the exposed root surface. Doing so may prevent further recession and reinforce the fragile gum tissue.

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