mouth jewelry it s not as simple as you think n.
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“Mouth Jewelry-It’s Not As Simple As You Think!”. History. The ancient Aztecs, Mayans, and tribes of the American Northwest pierced their tongues Religious ritual performed by shamen and priests Purpose: to communicate with the Gods. History cont. Recent History

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  • The ancient Aztecs, Mayans, and tribes of the American Northwest pierced their tongues
  • Religious ritual performed by shamen and priests
  • Purpose: to communicate with the Gods
history cont
History cont.
  • Recent History
      • Rise of popularity in the 1970’s
      • Transition of piercing into the “mainstream”
      • Piercing trends glamorized in the media
dental grillz
Dental “Grillz”
  • Customized teeth caps made of precious metals and jewels
  • Cost for a full set-hundreds to thousands of dollars
  • Styles can be snapped onto the teeth like an orthodontic retainer
  • Others are permanently bonded to the teeth
  • Made popular by rappers such as Nelly
tongue splitting
Tongue Splitting
  • The tongue is cut down the middle, and is induced to heal in that state, leaving a forked tongue
  • Side effects can include serious infection with damage to speech and taste, or worse, since there are many blood vessels in the tongue, severe bleeding can cause enough blood loss that a person could die
oral piercing
Oral Piercing

Piercing is becoming a more prevalent form of body art and self-expression in today’s society

Oral Piercing has been implicated in a number of adverse oral and systemic conditions

  • Cheek
  • Frenum
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Uvula
lip piercing
Lip Piercing
  • The lips aren't as vascular as the tongue, so there's probably less chance of major infection.  But they're even more likely to rub the gum tissue away from your tooth and necessitate gum surgery to avoid losing the tooth. Gum surgery beats brain surgery, but do you really want either? 
common piercing problems
Common Piercing Problems
  • Common symptoms following piercing and tongue splitting include pain, swelling, infection and increased salivary flow
  • Other problems include:
    • gum tissue injury or recession
    • damage to teeth and fillings
    • interference with speech and eating
    • scar-tissue formation
    • development of metal allergies
bleeding and swelling
Bleeding and Swelling
  • The tongue contains large blood vessels, and you're in trouble if one of them is perforated. You could end up having to have the vessel closed surgically in hospital
  • Swelling is a common symptom experienced after oral piercing.  Since the tongue is in constant motion it can slow and complicate the healing process
  • Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection is a common complication of oral piercing
  • Bacteria then cause the floor of the mouth to rapidly swell, which can block the airway or prevent the swallowing of saliva 
damage to hard and soft tissues
Damage to Hard and Soft Tissues
  • Damage to teeth
    • Chip/crack tooth
    • Can damage restorations and fixed porcelain prostheses
damage to hard and soft tissues1
Damage to Hard and Soft Tissues
  • Scar-tissue formation
    • Keloids form on both the top and bottom of tongue
more serious complications
More serious complications
  • Oral infections can lead to infections in other parts of the body. Your mouth has high levels of bacteria. When you puncture any part of the oral cavity, this bacteria may find its way into your bloodstream. Bacteria can reach your heart and cause a variety of health problems
  • This is called bacterial endocarditis
bacterial endocarditis
Bacterial Endocarditis
  • Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining (endocardium) or the heart valves. This can damage or even destroy your heart valves
  • This presents a risk for people who have cardiac abnormalities
bacterial endocarditis1
Bacterial Endocarditis
  • A person who develops bacterial endocarditis can potentially die from heart complications
brain encephalitis
Brain Encephalitis
  • The picture on the right was a girl who almost died from a brain abscess following a tongue piercing. She had part of her skull removed to relieve pressure caused by the infection. She can still feel the soft spot where the skull is missing
hepatitis or hiv
Hepatitis or HIV?
  • Unsterile instruments are an easy way to spread these and other infections
  • Policy of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)-opposes the practice of piercing intraoral and perioral tissues
impairs normal oral functions
Impairs Normal Oral Functions

Oral jewelry can:

  • Impede the ability to pronounce words clearly
  • Cause problems with chewing
  • Cause problems with swallowing food
  • Stimulate excessive saliva production
  • Some metal alloys can cause allergic contact dermatitis
  • Interfere with the oral health evaluation:
  • Jewelry in the mouth can block the transmission

of X-rays so abnormalities like cysts,

or abscesses can be seen

  • National Institutes of Health has identified

piercing as possible route for transmission

of hepatitis


Do plastic barbells solve the problem? No. They reduce but don't eliminate the trauma to teeth and gums, and they don't reduce the risk of infection