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True-or-False Dental Exam

Test your knowledge of the facts that put teeth into sound dental care.


1. Oral piercings cause minimal dental or oral problems.



2. The amount you sleep affects your gums.




1. False. Common symptoms after oral piercing include swelling, painfulness, infection, and increased saliva. Prolonged bleeding can also occur. Other risks include damage to teeth, interference with chewing or speech, the formation of scar tissue, and interference with diagnoses. Oral piercings have also been linked to the transmission of blood-borne hepatitis.1

2. True. Lack of sleep is second only to smoking among lifestyle factors that affect periodontal health, according to a study in the May 2007 Journal of Periodontology. Study participants who got seven to eight hours of sleep showed less progression of periodontal (gum) disease than those who slept six hours or less.

“ADA Positions & Statements: ADA Statement on Intraoral/Perioral Piercing and Tongue Splitting.” American Dental Association, October 2004. Accessed 2013.

“Longitudinal Study of the Association Between Smoking as a Periodontitis Risk and Salivary Biomarkers Related to Periodontitis.” M. Kibayashi. Journal of Periodontology. 2007, vol. 78, no. 5, pp. 859–867. Abstract: Accessed 2013.

“Smoking and Sleep Top the List of Lifestyle Factors Impacting Oral Health.” American Academy of Periodontology, May 15, 2007. Accessed 2013.

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