Document Detail

Ethnobotanical tattooing of the gingiva: literature review and report of a case.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17670877     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Traditional gingival tattooing, practiced in Ethiopia and occasionally in other African and Middle Eastern nations, is performed for esthetic appeal or superstition, and it occasionally may be used as a homeopathic remedy for dental diseases. The authors provide a literature review and case report of this oral custom. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 54-year-old woman from Ethiopia reported that she had undergone tattooing of the maxillary gingiva six years previously for analgesic management of undisclosed oral disease. The gingiva was pierced with a needle, tipped with lantern soot and resin from the plant Datura stramonium (an herb that possesses potent anticholinergic tropane alkaloids and has demonstrated in vitro antimicrobial activity). However, the patient admitted that this procedure had provided no reduction in the pain. Clinical examination was significant for a pronounced blue pigmentation of the maxillary gingiva, generalized mild periodontitis and several carious lesions. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Practitioners should ascertain whether gingival tattooing had been performed when patients manifest unusual oral pigmentation and be aware of its use in folk medicine for various oral conditions.
John K Brooks; Mark A Reynolds
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Dental Association (1939)     Volume:  138     ISSN:  0002-8177     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Dent Assoc     Publication Date:  2007 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-02     Completed Date:  2007-10-19     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503060     Medline TA:  J Am Dent Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1097-101     Citation Subset:  D; IM    
Department of Diagnostic Sciences and Pathology, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Dental School, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 650 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201-1586, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Ethiopia / ethnology
Gingival Diseases / drug therapy
Medicine, Traditional
Middle Aged
Phytotherapy / methods*
Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
Plant Structures*
Resins, Plant / therapeutic use*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Plant Preparations; 0/Resins, Plant

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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