What to Know About Oral Piercings

Lots of people have considered a tongue, lip, or other oral piercing at some point. But if you’re thinking about an oral piercing now, there are some important things you should seriously consider before moving forward, including that they can damage your mouth, cause infections, and lead to other problems. Although these things might not necessarily deter you from getting a piercing, you should still be prepared by knowing potential complications.

Oral Piercings Can Damage Your Mouth

People have found a way to pierce just about every part of the face and mouth, including the frenulum, cheek, tongue, lip, gums, and more. And while these piercings add to your appearance, they can also cause a great deal of damage in your mouth, including:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Injury to the gums
  • Cracked teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Gum infections

Moreover, the location of certain oral piercings can even prevent your mouth from being able to form certain letters, and this can make pronunciation difficult. Finally,  depending on the location of the jewelry, you may experience an overly watery mouth because the piercing stimulates saliva production.

All Oral Piercings Carry a Risk of Infection

Your mouth is full of bacteria, and poking a hole in it can often lead to an infection. In fact, more bacteria live inside your mouth than most other parts of your body, and this means infections are more common with oral piercings than other types. If you do contract an infection after getting an oral piercing, it’s important that you do not remove the jewelry. Otherwise, the piercing site may heal over the infection. Instead, visit your doctor, who may recommend a course of antibiotics.

Warning Signs That There’s a Problem

If you do get an oral piercing and something goes wrong, your body will alert you that there’s a problem. Warning signs to look for include pain, swelling, loss of taste, difficulty breathing, drooling, and excessive bleeding.

Preventing Complications from Piercings

Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent damage and other complications if you do get an oral piercing. For one thing, only wear jewelry made from inert and non-toxic metals such as gold or stainless steel to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and infections. Also, while the piercing is healing, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash after eating. Once the piercing has healed, you should continue to use the mouthwash after eating, and remove the jewelry when you sleep, eat, or engage in sports and other activities.

Many Nashua dental practices have seen first-hand the damage that oral piercings can cause, and it’s crucial for you to be aware of what piercings can do to your mouth so that you can make the most informed decision about whether to get one. For more information on oral piercings, potential complications, and the impact on your mouth, teeth, and gums, talk to your dentist. If you do go ahead with a piercing, remember to follow all care instructions properly, and take steps to prevent oral damage.

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