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How Oral Piercing Affects Your Dental Health

How Oral Piercing Affects Your Dental Health

Oral piercing is an extremely popular style of body art prevalent today, with an increasing number of patients visiting the dentists for regular check-ups with a pierced tongue and/or lip. An oral piercing is normally done on your lip, cheek or tongue through a ring or ball that is inserted as a piercing. The piercing material is usually an extremely hard metal or a jewelry.

Many health complications involving oral piercing have already been medically recorded, and some of them are fatal. If you wish to get any of these kinds of piercings done, it is essential to understand the implications of the oral-health issues associated with it.

What Are the Health Risks of Oral Piercing?

Some of the potential dangers associated with oral piercing include:

Receding Gum Line
Gums provide the essential safety to your teeth, and oral piercing can compromise the health of your gum. The friction produced due to oral piercing can easily cause damage to a particular area on your gum. This can result in receding of your gum in that area.

Exposure to Infection
The wound created as a result of oral piercing enhances the risk of many types of bacterial infections in your mouth as well cardiac infection like endocarditis. Oral piercing can also lead to herpes simplex virus and hepatitis B and C transmission in some cases.

Nerve and Blood Vessel Damage
If the nerves at the piercing site get damaged, numbness or movement problems can occur particularly for pierced tongues. Also, due to the puncturing of blood vessels, severe bleeding can occur.

Restricted Oral Movement
Common difficulties associated with tongue piercing are speaking clearly, chewing and swallowing food due to excessive saliva production stimulated by the jewelry. Tongue swelling and excessive drooling are some of the other consequences.

Prone to Teeth Damage
Teeth can chip or crack after coming in contact with oral piercings. According to a dental journal report, 47% of people wearing heavy tongue jewelry for a longer period suffered from at least one chipped tooth.

What Are the Precautionary Measures?
People who are interested in getting an oral piercing should first have a clear discussion on the topic with a dentist, and always remember to follow these safety measures:

  • Verify the cleanliness of the place where the piercing is performed and also confirm about the proper sterilization of the involved items.

  • Make sure that jewelry for piercing is made using either of these safer materials like surgical steel, solid gold, or platinum to avoid any oral infection.

  • Ensure that the piercing is done by a skilled professional who employs stringent infection-control practices to avert dangerous infections like hepatitis B and C and HIV.

  • Ask for elaborate after-care instructions for your oral piercing and regularly disinfect and brush your oral jewelry just like your teeth.

  • Make sure that piercing materials are made of plastic if they happen to be in close vicinity to your teeth.

  • Try to avoid piercing your tongue or base of your mouth in order to prevent the risk of infection.

  • Seek urgent medical or dental care if you have intense bleeding, swelling or pain or any hint of infection after a piercing session.

  • Regularly visit your dentist to get proper monitoring and care for your oral piercing in order to prevent any chances of damage to your teeth and gums.