Tongue Piercing and Associated Tooth Fracture

The case presented is designed to draw attention to the increasingly common occurrence of tooth fracture as a result of trauma incurred from a barbell inserted during tongue piercing. Oral piercing is on the rise. Of concern to health personnel are the associated risks, which include damage to dentition, infection, speech impediment and nerve damage. Also of concern is the belief that in some cases, clients considering body piercing may not be receiving sufficient care instructions, hence putting them at greater risk of post-operative complications. We conclude that a public health campaign in the form of health promotion and education is mandatory to ensure safe responsible piercing, and recommend that workshops, forums and educational leaflets aimed at the piercers, the clientele and the health care workers be developed in Alberta.

MeSH Key Words: self-mutilation/complicatons; tongues/injuries; tooth fractures/etiology.