AIM To assess periodontal health of individuals with a lateral lower lip piercing and describe associated periodontal, dental and mucosal complications. MATERIAL AND METHODS A split-mouth study was performed in a sample of 50 patients with a lateral lower lip piercing who attended the Periodontal Pathology and Surgery Unit of the Dental School of the University of Barcelona. The patients underwent periodontal, dental and mucosal examination on both the piercing and the control sides. RESULTS Piercing users were predominantly women (78%), with a mean age of 21.3 years (SD=4.4). The amounts of keratinized and attached gingiva were significantly lower on the piercing side, and the prevalence of gingival recession was higher (p=0.012). The canine and first bicuspid teeth were the most affected. Tooth fractures and cracks were more frequent on the piercing side (20%) when compared with the control (4%). Mucosal alterations were found in seven patients. CONCLUSIONS The use of lateral lower lip piercings enhances gingival recession and reduces the amounts of keratinized and attached gingiva. These ornaments are also associated with tooth fractures and cracks.
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