The Dangers of Oral Piercings

Body piercing is a very popular way people express themselves today.  Individuals may think oral piercing and tongue splitting are great ways to express their individuality, but they can be detrimental to your health.  The health of your mouth and overall health may be affected. Your dentist can answer all your questions about oral piercing. Piercing your tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula, which is the tissue that hangs at the back of the throat, may interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. 

Oral piercings may cause:

Infection, pain and swelling

The mouth is a very moist environment that harbors large numbers of bacteria which is an ideal place for infection.  An infection can become life threatening, if not treated immediately.  Piercing may also cause your tongue to swell, which could potentially block your airway.

Damage to gums, teeth and fillings

A very common habit once you have a piercing is to bite or play with it. This may injure your gums and lead to cracked, scratched or sensitive teeth. The piercing may also damage fillings.

Hypersensitivity to metals

Allergic reactions at the site of the piercing is also possible.

Nerve damage

After piercing of the tongue, it is possible to experience a numb tongue that is caused by nerve damage. This is usually temporary but  sometimes it may be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. Also potential damage to the blood vessels in the tongue can cause serious blood loss.

Excessive drooling

When the tongue is pierced there may be an increase in saliva production in the mouth.

Dental appointment difficulties

The jewelry in the mouth can get in the way when getting your dental care and also block x-rays of the teeth.

If you currently have piercings:

Oral piercings can be hazardous to your oral and overall health  Consider removing your jewelry before it causes a problem and do not get a piercing on a whim. It is a responsibility that will require continued attention for a lifetime. Ask Dr. Dater any questions you might have about oral piercings.

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