Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

dentist BrooklynMany young adults use piercings as a means of expression. But piercing the ears or navel carries much less of a degree of risk than piercings in the lips, cheeks, or tongue. Your dentist can outline the concerns that accompany oral piercings.

Infection – The mouth contains a host of bacteria. Introducing a piece of jewelry into the mix provides an opening for harmful bacteria to enter resulting in an infection at the site of the piercing.

Illness – How certain are you that the jewelry or instruments used to pierce your mouth are sterile? Did the person doing the piercing wear gloves? Were you made aware of the dangers associated with a complication of your oral piercing?

In addition to the transmission of disease, harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream which can result in inflammation of the heart and heart valves leading to permanent damage.

How certain are you that a nerve won’t be struck during the piercing resulting in long term complications?

Once your jewelry has been placed, this little item of expression now becomes a challenge to your oral health:

Gum disease – Premature gum recession and excessive plaque build-up can lead to the onset of gum disease.

Teeth – The constant clanging of jewelry against teeth can result in damage to dental enamel. Broken and chipped teeth require costly and time consuming repair.

Speaking and eating – The formation of words differs once you introduce a foreign object into the mouth. During the healing period of up to two months, the diet should consist of soft foods; rinsing the mouth immediately following food or drink consumption is advised.

Aesthetics – You may believe your oral piercing has enhanced your appearance. But this little piece of jewelry will likely result in increased saliva production – drooling is a possible result until you become adjusted to your new piercing.

Another consideration in your appearance is that you might not be able to secure the job you covet; many employers will bypass the individual with oral piercings and select the more conservative one (especially any job associated with health care).

Your dentist can provide the information needed to make a decision about oral piercing. Of course, children need parental consent, so the adult needs to educate themselves about the hazards of oral piercings. Much thoughtful consideration should be given before pursuing oral piercings.

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