Tongue Piercing Linked to Orthodontic Issue

Case report describes maxillary midline diastema resulting from a pierced tongue

MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A pierced tongue has the potential to lead to a midline diastema in patients with previously well-aligned teeth, according to a case report published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics.

Sawsan Tabbaa, D.D.S., of the University at Buffalo in New York, and colleagues documented a case of tongue piercing where a metallic barbell-shaped stud was inserted through the tongue.

The researchers found that, after having her tongue pierced, the patient habitually placed the metal stud between the upper anterior central incisors. This habit led to the development of a maxillary midline diastema between the central incisors that previously were orthodontically well-aligned. Treatment included removal of the tongue stud before the placement of a fully bonded appliance.

"While oral piercing is becoming more common, tongue piercings are associated with many risks that are of importance to orthodontists. The dental profession as well as the population in general should be made aware of the risks of oral piercings," the authors conclude.

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