ADHA: Oral Piercings Gaining Popularity, Critics

    CHICAGO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- From the chin to the cheeks, tongue and
 everything in-between, millions of young people are expressing their
 individuality with oral piercings.
     However, self-expression comes at a hefty cost for many as piercees can
 suffer serious infection, loss of taste and even toxic shock syndrome
 resulting from a poorly placed piercing, according to American Dental
 Hygienists' Association (ADHA) President, Ann Naber, RDH.
     "The mouth is the ideal environment for infection and bacteria," Naber
 explained, "and it's well documented that there are fractures of teeth,
 periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) and trauma associated with the
 jewelry used in oral piercings."
     Other concerns raised by dental hygienists deal with the possibility of
 transmitting hepatitis, tetanus and HIV infection through piercing.  "In
 addition, make sure the body artist practices good hygiene and uses
 hypoallergenic equipment," Naber advised.
     Any piercing procedure should use equipment that has been properly
 sterilized utilizing an autoclave process, Naber warned.
     For the parents of young teens who are considering getting an oral
 piercing, Naber recommended consulting with an oral health care professional
     ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional
 interests of the more than 100,000 dental hygienists across the country.
     Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in
 dental hygiene, who specialize in the prevention and treatment of oral
 diseases in order to protect total health.
     If you would like more information about dental hygiene, preventive oral
 health, or the connection between periodontal (gum) disease and
 life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, low-birthweight
 babies, or respiratory ailments, visit ADHA at .
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SOURCE American Dental Hygienists' Association

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