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03.23.09

Oral piercings pose potential health-care risks

Posted in Piercing News at 7:19 pm by admin

Illinois–Like clothing and hairstyles, oral piercings give teens and adults a way to express themselves.

While trendy, this fashion statement poses a number of potential oral and overall health care risks.

“Anyone considering an oral piercing should consult a dentist to discuss the possible side effects,” said Dr. Max Anderson, DDS, a national oral health advisor for Delta Dental Plans Association, “or if you already have an oral piercing, make sure to schedule routine dental exams so a dentist can check for problems.”

Some potential complications of oral piercings include:

* Swelling ? Piercing may cause swelling of the tongue. According to the American Dental Association, in extreme cases a severely swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and prevent breathing.
* Prolonged bleeding ? A blood vessel punctured while piercing may cause severe bleeding.
* Damage to the sublingual salivary glands – An improperly placed tongue piercing may damage the sublingual salivary glands, which produce five percent of saliva entering the oral cavity.
* Aspiration (choking) – Jewelry may become loose in the mouth, creating a choking hazard.
* Plaque build-up ? Plaque may build up on piercings, requiring more frequent cleanings.
* Damage to the teeth and gums – Jewelry may come in contact with both the teeth and gums, causing chipped or cracked teeth or gingival (gum) recession.
* Allergic reaction ? Jewelry containing certain metals may cause an allergic reaction.
* Nerve damage ? A piercing that strikes a nerve may cause nerve damage, leading to numbness or loss of sensation at the piercing site.
* Infection ? The wound from the piercing, coupled with teeming bacteria in the mouth, may create an increased risk of infection.

“If you decide to get an oral piercing and complications arise, schedule an appointment with your dentist,” said Dr. Anderson. “Dentists are trained to monitor and manage oral health problems and will work with a physician to manage more serious conditions.”

Also, make sure to follow any home-care instructions, including cleaning, provided by your dentist or piercing specialist. This may help prevent immediate, short-term or long-term complications. Your dentist can prescribe an antimicrobial rinse to help keep the pierced site and jewelry clean.

“Whether a piercing is through the cheek, lip or tongue, proper oral hygiene measures are critical,” said Dr. Anderson, “and may help reduce the risks of some damaging side effects of oral piercing.”

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The art of colonial tin piercing at Miller-Cory

Posted in Piercing News at 7:18 pm by admin

From candlesticks to coffeepots, from foot warmers to fish kettles, tin goods in the 18th and 19th centuries were greatly varied and highly demanded. The use of tin in early New Jersey will be featured at the Miller-Cory House Museum on March 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 614 Mountain Ave. in Westfield.

The program, which is ideal for children, includes a discussion of the work of the colonial era tinsmiths, as well as a demonstration of the process of tin piercing. Tin piercing allowed the craftsman the opportunity to create goods that were decorative, as well as practical.

Volunteers dressed in authentic period dress will also be available to guide visitors through the pre-revolutionary farmhouse. In the museum’s Frazee Building, members of the Cooking Committee will demonstrate open hearth cooking techniques and offer tasty treats for visitors to sample. Be sure to visit the museum’s gift shop, which carries a variety of colonial toys, crafts, cookbooks and educational materials.

Admission is $2.50 for adults and $1 for students; children under four are free.

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