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What You Should Know About Oral Piercings

Oral piercings are piercings that are in or around the mouth, including lip, tongue, frenum and even uvula (at the back of the throat.) Oral piercings always come with more risk than other piercings, such as the ears, because the mouth is filled with millions of bacteria, making the risk for infection more significant. Complications from oral piercings can range from mild to severe. 

Risks of Oral Piercings 

Infection – As stated above, because the mouth has millions of bacteria, the risk of infection is more significant than with other piercings. Infection can lead to pain and swelling, which can have serious, life-threatening effects, such as closing the airway.

Bleeding – Sometimes, during the piercing, a blood vessel may be punctured, causing heavy bleeding.

Chipped & Cracked Teeth – A common habit is to click or tap oral jewelry on or against teeth, which can lead to chipped or cracked teeth.

Gum Recession – Oral jewellery can be abrasive to the gum tissue and cause it to recede away, which is a common occurrence with lip piercings damaging the tissue of the lower front teeth. Gum recession can leave the teeth sensitive and vulnerable to cavities.

Interferes with normal function – Oral piercings may make it more difficult to pronounce, swallow and chew food.

More susceptible to diseases – Oral piercings have been listed as a possible factor in transmitting Hepatitis B, C, G and E. 

Keeping Piercings Healthy 

  • Make sure to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for cleanings and check-ups 
  • Make sure to visit your dentist immediately if there is any pain, swelling or bleeding from a piercing 
  • Keep the piercing site clean and use an antibacterial mouth rinse twice a day 
  • Avoid clicking the piercing on your teeth 
  • Try to avoid any trauma to the gums or teeth with the piercing 
  • Periodically check to make sure the piercing is tight to reduce the risk of choking/swallowing it 
  • Remove the piercing during contact sports 

If you have any questions about oral piercings or how to keep them healthy, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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