Objectives: Due to the growing popularity of body modifications, dental practitioners are increasingly confronted with oral piercing and its implications. Successful consultation and subsequent change of patient behavior require an understanding of the patient’s personality and the deep reasons that explain this self-injurious behavior. This is the first study evaluating personality traits and aspects of body perception in a cohort of adults with oral piercing.
Schlagwörter: body perception, lip piercing, personality characteristics, sensation seeking, tongue piercing
Method and materials: Sixty-two individuals with labial and/or tongue piercing completed three validated questionnaires assessing body perception and personality traits (Questionnaire for assessing one’s own body; Sensation Seeking Scale; Big Five Inventory Scale). Fisher Exact probability test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to determine differences in frequency data and in psychologic parameters between subgroups.
Results: Eighteen single- and 44 multiple-pierced individuals completed the study (53 women, 9 men). The odds for being multiple pierced was significantly higher for tongue than for labial piercing (3.89 and 0.63, respectively; P = .003). In all psychologic parameters measured, the sample showed score distributions within reference norms. However, multiple-pierced individuals displayed a significantly lesser feeling of attractiveness, less self-confidence, and more uncertainty/anxiety towards their body than single-pierced probands (P < .05).
Conclusion: Psychologic characteristics of individuals with oral piercing do not fundamentally differ from those of the average population. Therefore, dental practitioners should focus on the medical and dental implications of oral piercing in the counseling of patients who have or intend to have such done.