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Dangers of Oral Piercing

By Craig Smith
October 12, 2015

As your dentist, I wanted to take a moment to let you know some of the common risks of oral piercing:

  • Excessive drooling and difficulty speaking. Mouth jewelry can cause excessive saliva production and can affect your ability to pronounce words clearly.
  • Bad breath. Bacteria breeding around your piercing can cause bad breath.
  • Damage to teeth and gums. Teeth may be chipped or cracked from contact with the jewelry. Lip and tongue piercings that rub against gums can cause the roots to pull away from the teeth, exposing the root.
  • Infection. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and the site of oral piercings may easily become infected. Food particles that collect around the pierced site are breeding grounds for bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions. The metal may cause an allergic reaction at the pierced site.
  • Swelling. Your tongue - the most popular piercing site in the mouth - could swell large enough to block your airway.
  • Prolonged bleeding and nerve damage. Piercing can cause uncontrollable bleeding. Some people report temporary or permanent nerve damage after a mouth piercing.
  • Choking. You can choke on any studs, barbells, or hoops that come loose in your mouth.

If you already have a piercing, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Contact our office immediately at any sign of infection.
  • Keep the piercing site clean by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
  • Minimize clicking jewelry against your teeth.
  • When taking part in sports, take out the jewelry and use a mouthguard.
  • Consider removing the jewelry before it causes problems.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office. We can also check your mouth during your next dental visit if you have concerns.

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