Oral piercings are any piercing to the tongue, lips or cheek, and for many they are a trendy form of self-expression. Just like with ear piercings, oral piercings come in a large variety of styles, including studs, barbells and rings. Piercing your tongue, lips, or cheek, however, involves a number of risks not associated with piercing your ears. It’s always a good idea to consult your dentist before getting any part of your mouth pierced. Here are just a few complications that could arise from an oral piercing.
Oral Piercing Risks
Infection – Jewelry in the mouth increases one’s chances of getting an infection. Our mouths are warm and moist — a breeding ground for bacteria. An oral piercings leaves part of your mouth vulnerable to this bacteria, and infection can be life threatening.
Prolonged bleeding – It’s possible for the needle to puncture a blood vessel when you get a piercing, which will result in difficult-to-control bleeding.
Blood-borne diseases – The National Institutes of Health have identified oral piercings as a possible factor in transmitting hepatitis B, C, D and G.
Gum injury – Metal jewelry can injure soft gum tissue, and cause the gums to recede. Recessed gums aren’t just attractive, but also leave your tooth’s root more vulnerable to decay and periodontal disease.
Allergic reactions – Hypersensitivity to metals can trigger an allergic reaction at the site of a piercing in some people.
Chipped and cracked teeth – Frequent contact with oral jewelry leaves your teeth at risk of fracturing. Teeth with restorations, crowns or caps are especially at risk.
Endocarditis – The wound created by an oral piercing provides a zone for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream, allowing them to travel to the heart. This puts you at risk of endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart valves and tissues.
Drooling and impeding oral functions – Jewelry in the mouth causes your mouth to produce more saliva, which can impede your ability to properly pronounce words or interfere with your ability to chew and swallow.
Dental Care with Oral Piercings
If you have an oral piercing, it’s a good idea to keep the site clear of any food or debris that may collect on the jewelry. Avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth and don’t put stress on the piercing. In addition to brushing and flossing twice daily, see your dentist regularly. If you notice any signs of infection around the piercing–swelling, pain, fever, chills or shaking–see a dentist or physician immediately.
Professional Dental Care from Annapolis Dental Care
If you want to schedule your next visit, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! We can give you more information, or schedule your appointment. Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. 1