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Stainless steel studs pose more risk

Article-Stainless steel studs pose more risk

Innsbruck, Austria — People who insist on wearing tongue studs should avoid the stainless-steel type, MedPage Today reports.

Researchers at Innsbruck Medical University assessed 85 people, ages 16 to 36, who randomly received sterile tongue piercings and wore studs made of stainless steel, titanium, polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene — the four most common materials from which studs are made. Microbiologic samples were collected after two weeks.

Investigators found significantly higher concentrations of bacteria on stainless steel piercings than on all other types of material.

Of the 80 bacterial species identified, 67 were found at significantly higher levels in samples from stainless-steel studs than in samples from polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene studs. The bacterial species included periodontopathogenic bacteria and bacteria associated with systemic infections, according to the study.

MedPage Today quotes lead author Ines Kapferer, M.D., as saying, “Consumers should avoid stainless steel (studs) ... not only because of bacteria and a potentially higher risk of local infection of the piercing channel, but also because of the risk of tooth chipping and gum recession.”

The study appeared in the January issue of Journal of Adolescent Health.

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