Oral Piercing: It’s a w(hole) story

Dr Gaurav Ganjoo


K.M. Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth University, Gujarat State

The practice of piercing has ancient origins. Within ancient tribes, the main purpose was to distinguish the roles played by each member, and to regulate and codify the hierarchical relationship between the various individuals either for daily activities or for ceremonial occasions. Historically, wearing adornments on pierced body parts has been associated with many cultures as manifestations of religious or cultural identities. Currently, its use has a broad acceptance among young people.
Over the past two decades body piercing has gained wider social acceptability from its earlier underground confines. As the trend of body piercing grow in popularity, understanding the medical risks as well as the psychosocial implications of wearing piercing jewellery is important for health practitioners. Common oral piercing sites include lips, tongue, cheeks, frenum and uvula, and the types of jewellery used thus include barbells, rings, labrettes, etc. Since the oral cavity harbours millions of bacteriae, the potential for complications is significantly high.