Thursday Thought: Oral Piercings

How can oral piercings affect your dental health?

Thursday Thought: Oral Piercings

Oral Piercings have increased in popularity among all age groups, especially teens and women. As with anything new we are interested in proceeding with, it is important to consider all risks associated with lip, tongue or any type of piercing involving the mouth. Piercings in the mouth can affect your speech. It can also cause the following:

  • Infection and pain. Because the environment of your mouth is almost always moist, it is a breeding ground for large amounts of bacteria. Infections can quickly occur and without treatment, can become life threatening.
  • Damage to your Teeth. Specifically, with tongue piercing, it is very common to play or bite the jewelry/metal in your mouth. This can lead to inuring your gums, cracking
    teeth and recession. Crowns on teeth can also be damaged by the metal hitting them consistently.
  • Damage to your Nerve. After a piercing, you could experience numbing of your tongue. This is caused by the piercing and is usually temporary. However, this damage can also be permanent and could affect your sense of taste and the movement of your mouth and tongue.
  • Drooling. Tongue piercings increase saliva production.
  • Diseases. Oral piercings can lead to transmission of Hepatitis B, C, D and G.

Recession is one of the most common damages caused to gums because of tongue piercings. Recession is when the gums recede from the teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth. Catching recession as early as possible is key to the treatment. If you do need treatment, we will refer you to a periodontist who is a gum specialist and they can decide the best treatment.

If you have a piercing and develop any sign of infection, damage to teeth or gums, or have any other concerns, please contact your dentist immediately. The best way to prevent damaging your oral health is to be gentle with anything that is associated with your mouth and teeth.