The Negative Effects of Oral Piercings
Facial piercings have become much more of a trend over the past couple of decades. Some people express themselves by having lip piercings or tongue piercings, while others actually have their cheeks or oral frenulum pierced! Unfortunately, mouth piercings can have hazardous effects to your oral health.
Particularly with tongue piercings, one of the biggest concerns is chipped, fractured, or even cracked teeth. Tongue jewelry can severely damage teeth, sometimes by even damaging or completely removing fillings! Just by talking, sleeping, or chewing, the jewelry can irritate or pick away at your teeth enamel.
Infections are another source of concern when getting piercings in and around the mouth. Every mouth is loaded with bacteria, and a swollen piercing can increase the chances of bacteria turning into a full-blown infection before you know it. An infection could also be caused by an allergy to the metal or jewelry used.
Pain and swelling are almost inevitable when getting a new piercing, but further… the tongue has many blood vessels and can lead to heavy bleeding if pierced in a bad spot. You could also more easily be at risk of blood-borne diseases! As you can see, it’s not like the kind of swelling you might get from braces, it’s way more serious.
If the piercing doesn’t heal well, bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause serious problems. The likelihood of this happening increases if you don’t take care of the piercing material.
If you do decide to get an oral piercing, you should be very careful about choosing where to get it. Should you receive a piercing from someone who does not follow best practices, you could be exposed to dangerous infections like hepatitis, tetanus, or tuberculosis.
In the case of lip rings or cheek piercings, the jewelry may rub against the teeth. But in addition, the gums can experience rubbing, which leads to receding gums and further damage. For adults, a major form of tooth loss is periodontal (gum) disease.
Once gums begin receding, there’s no going back. The sensitive dentin protected by the gum line will then be exposed and cause pain, tooth decay, and nerve damage. The only way to fix this problem is with expensive crowns and root canals.
Did you know that oral piercings could lead to the inflammation of the heart valves and tissue? Yikes!! This serious issue is known as endocarditis.
Specifically, endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. This happens when bacterial and other germs travel to the heart from another part of your body through your bloodstream.
Once these germs reach your heart, they begin eating away at the inner linings, and will cause serious damage if left untreated. Read more about this serious condition if you’re considering an oral piercing.
Is It Worth The Risk?
If you previously had any dental work done to help your gums or correct teeth, why put something in your mouth that may disrupt or negate all of that work? Is it worth the possibility of gum disease, hepatitis B and C, or uncontrollable bleeding for a jewelry statement? Speech impediments are a known side effect, as well as nerve damage! The American Dental Association advises against oral piercings because of all the risks associated.
Are you or someone you know dead-set on getting an oral piercing? Make sure that the piercer is licensed and experienced, as well as works in a clean, reputable shop. It is extremely important to also take good care of your mouth and overall health. Just to be safe, schedule your next appointment with us this holiday season. Or give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about the state of your oral health.