Oral Piercings - A Complete Guide

Oral Piercings - A Complete Guide

Posted by DENTAL HEALTH PC on Feb 1 2021, 07:52 PM

For many people, piercings are a great way of self-expression or a style statement. However, when piercings involve your tongue, cheeks, or lips, they bring risks to dental and overall health. Like any other piercing, oral piercing also involves the use of a needle to create the opening through which the jewelry is placed. Oral piercings can interfere with everyday dental functions and can be a breeding ground for bacterial growth and infection.

What are the possible risks involved with oral piercings?

The tongue is mainly composed of muscle tissue and is rich in blood supply and nerve endings. A small injury or cut on the tongue is often painful and can cause bleeding. During a tongue piercing, a hole is made using a needle, and a metal stud is inserted through the hole. This can cause the possibility of infection or the transmission of hepatitis B. At times, the piercing may also lead to immediate and severe facial pain that usually goes away after some time. 

When teeth regularly come into contact with the metal ornament, damage to the teeth or dental restoration works can happen. Chipping or fracture of the teeth can occur, and it can also cause increased tooth sensitivity and pain. Oral piercings can also increase saliva production, resulting in excessive drooling. It can impede speech and can also interfere with the mouth's functions like chewing and swallowing. From fractured teeth and nerve damage to receding gums and more, your oral piercing can do more damage than you imagine. 

The injury to the soft gum tissue can result in receding gums. Recessed gums can leave tooth roots more vulnerable to decay and lead to periodontal disease if not taken care of properly.  Besides causing problems in the mouth, advanced gum disease can negatively affect your general (systemic) health as well.

Oral piercing can cause temporary nerve damage but can sometimes it can last long. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste and mouth movement too. Damage that occurred to the tongue's blood vessels can result in serious blood loss.

Oral piercing can make your dental appointments difficult as the metal jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.

Oral Piercing Safety

Though we recommend not to do oral piercings, if you've decided to get one, make sure to be up-to-date on vaccines for hepatitis B and tetanus.

Also, make sure that you choose a clean and well-run piercing shop with a piercer who has a license. After getting the piercing, short-term symptoms like pain, swelling, and drooling can occur. Watch out for the following signs of infection:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Lots of bleeding and discharge
  • Bad odor
  • Rash
  • Fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek the help of your healthcare provider soon. 

The best option is not to do the oral piercing or removing it if you have one before it causes a problem. Don't pierce on an impulse, as the piercing will be an added responsibility, requiring constant care and upkeep. If you have any doubts about the same, call now to book your appointment to talk to your dentist for more information.

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