Colonization of Candida: Prevalence among tongue-pierced and non-pierced immunocompetent adults

Y. Zadik*, S. Burnstein, E. Derazne, V. Sandler, C. Ianculovici, T. Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the colonization of Candida at the tongue-piercing site of immunocompetent individuals. Subjects and methods: Swabs samples were obtained from the anterior lingual mucosa of healthy young adults with tongue piercing (N = 115); 86 subjects with (non-intra-oral) facial piercing served as a comparison group. Candida colonization was examined by light microscopy after 5-day incubation. Positive specimens were re-cultured on Chromagar™Candida plates for species identifying. Results: Candida colonization was more prevalent among tongue-pierced (20.0%) than facial-pierced subjects (9.4%; P = 0.048). All colonies were of Candida albicans. No difference was found between current tongue ornament wearers (21.2%) and non-wearers (19.5%; P = 0.803). In multivariate analysis, the only significantly positive influencing factors on colonization were tongue piercing (P = 0.034) and daily smoking of more than 10 cigarettes (P = 0.024). Conclusions: Piercing of the tongue was found to be a risk factor for colonization of Candida albicans, without an influence of whether or not an ornament is in place.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)172-175
Number of pages4
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Candidiasis
  • Candidosis
  • Compliance
  • Fungal infection
  • Oral hygiene
  • Oral piercing


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