Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

Tulsa dentalBoth men and women engage in obtaining jewelry for their cheeks, lips, and tongue. Some like the way they look; others may feel they are making a statement about themselves. Whatever the reason, oral piercings can be problematic to your dental health and the condition of your teeth, and can impact overall health.

Your dentist would be able to list all the reasons why oral piercings should be given considerable thought before going forward. Some of the negative things that can occur include:

Swelling/Soreness – No matter where the piercing is, the site is likely to experience discomfort and the potential for swelling. An over the counter analgesic is usually sufficient for relief.

Infection – The mouth is full of bacteria. Any time you create the opportunity for bacteria to enter your body, you are taking a chance on infection.  

Increased saliva production – If something new is introduced into your mouth, the likelihood of producing more saliva exists; drooling is a possibility. 

Speech impediment – While you adjust to your new oral piercing, the jewelry could impede correct word pronunciation. 

Chipped enamel – As your mouth jewelry is likely to make contact with one or more teeth when eating, speaking, or laughing you run the risk of chipping the protective covering on your teeth.

Broken tooth – This could lead to the need for a dental crown; if the nerve is affected, you might also require a root canal.

Gum disease – Constant contact between gum tissue and jewelry can result in gum recession and/or gum disease. 

Following a discussion with your dentist, if you still want to pursue an oral piercing make sure you know who is administering your piercing. Check credentials … don’t let an amateur perform this procedure. Nerve damage can occur. Make certain you verify all instrumentation used in your procedure has been sterilized. Blood borne diseases are easily transmitted if all equipment is not sterilized correctly. Finally make sure this is truly what you want … don’t let peer pressure or a whim motivate you into making a decision you might regret.