JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Oral piercings: immediate and late complications.

PURPOSE: Oral piercings have a long history as part of religious, cultural, or sexual symbolism in many traditional tribes; currently, these ornaments have wide acceptance among young people. Several oral and systemic complications may be associated with this practice; however, limited data related to these complications can be obtained in the literature.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study includes 42 cases of oral piercings in 39 young adults, who were using or had used oral piercings, and the complications associated with their use.

RESULTS: Immediate complications occurred in 29 cases, including excessive bleeding (69%) and pain (52.3%) as the most representative. Two cases of syncope were found. Late complications related to the piercing insertion site were observed in 97.6% of cases, with pain and swelling being present in 92.9% and 61.9% of cases, respectively. Dental pain and lacerations on the tongue represented the most prevalent complications associated with the surrounding tissues, accounting for 33.3% and 31% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of oral piercings is related to a series of mainly local complications, and individuals who decide to use piercings should be aware of such complications. Individuals wishing to get a part of their body pierced should do so with qualified professionals and should regularly visit the dentist so that a regular control is achieved, thus ensuring the early detection of the adverse effects associated with this practice.

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