Dental Hygienists knowledge of trends in oral piercings and their oral health consequences

Deljosevic, Kristina, and Isabela Abramowicz

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the demographics, trends, and effects of oral piercings. Methods: This was a qualitative study. The population surveyed was Dental Hygienists. Thirty surveys were sent via email. Out of the thirty Dental Hygienists surveyed sixteen responded. Results: Fifty-three percent of our surveys were completed and returned via email. The three counties surveyed were; Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne. 43.75% of Dental Hygienists who took part in our survey practice in Wayne County, 37.5% practice in Macomb and 18.75% in Oakland County. 56.25% of Dental Hygienists observed, as a trend, that more adults over 18 years of age have piercings. 25% see patients who have multiple piercings. 12.5% see younger patients less than 16 years of age who have piercings. 6.25% believe more patients have oral piercings. The data regarding oral health consequences demonstrate that 44.83% witnessed tooth enamel abrasions. In addition, 24.14% witnessed speech difficulties, 17.24% witnessed oral infections, 6.9% witnessed soft tissue damage, and 3.45% witnessed bone abnormalities. However, 3.45% saw no change. Conclusion: Oral piercing trends witnessed by Dental Hygienists illustrate the majority of patients with oral piercings are adults (over 18) and the location of these piercings are on the tongue. Almost all patients who have piercings displayed some type of oral health consequence.