Complications of oral piercing: a review of the literature and two case reports

J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2021 May-Jun;35(3 Suppl. 1):167-178. doi: 10.23812/21-3supp1-19.


The practice of piercing has been used since ancient times, and nowadays is coming back in fashion among adolescents and young adults. Teenagers wearing oral piercings are frequently observed during routine examination, and there are, also, recurrent harmful consequences attributed to the devices. Unfortunately, piercings are usually placed by unlicensed individuals, lacking the appropriate anatomical knowledge, and therefore unable to provide sufficient information regarding the potential risks, especially when compared to the ones known by the patients. In this regard, the relevant legislation is frayed both vertically (that is within the framework of State and Regional competences), and horizontally (within the competences between the various regions). With the present study, through an accurate review of the literature and the description of two case reports, we underline the importance of informing both the patients and the dental professionals about the dental consequences undergoing the application of piercing. Both patients examined presented the common complications related to the application of piercing. The aim of this study is to underline the importance of being informed for both the dental professional and the person who undergoes piercing about its consequences for the whole oral system as well as the possible risks of infections and complications. We want to underline the key role of the dentist as a promoter of prevention of oral disorders as well as being able to deal with the possible complications which may occur.

Keywords: gingival recession; gingivitis; lip piercing; oral piercing; piercing; tongue piercing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Piercing* / adverse effects
  • Gingival Recession*
  • Humans
  • Lip
  • Mouth Diseases*
  • Tongue
  • Young Adult