Oral Piercings and Oral Health Link

July 5, 2021

Oral piercings are a form of body modification that may present some health risks. The mouth is a place that contains millions of bacteria, and this bacteria poses a risk to piercings that can lead to swelling and infection if not properly cared for. Oral piercings include the lip, tongue, cheeks, frenum and even uvula. 

Complications of Oral Piercings 

– Can affect biting, chewing, swallowing and speech 

– Cause increase salivary production and lead to drooling 

– Can lead to swelling, pain and infection due to the millions of oral bacteria present 

– Can lead to gum recession if the piercing is in an area where it rubs along vulnerable gum tissue, such as a lip piercing on the gums of the lower front teeth 

– Can cause tooth chips/ fractures if the jewellery knocks against tooth surfaces 

– Can also cause damage to fillings if the jewellery knocks against filling surfaces 

– Can be a choking hazard if the jewellery falls out 

– Can cause nerve damage (most often in the tongue) if the piercing hits a nerve, which can cause numbness either temporarily or permanently 

– Can lead to prolonged bleeding if the piercing hits a blood vessel 

– Can cause endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart valves, from bacteria travelling from the mouth into the bloodstream 

Caring For Oral Piercings 

– Use a mouthwash after every meal and before bed to keep the piercing and jewellery clean and bacteria-free 

– Avoid any habits where the jewellery hits either your teeth or your gums as this can cause damage over time, such as tooth chipping and gum recession

– Periodically take the jewellery out for cleaning and make sure it is secure when it’s on 

– Always take the jewellery out for contact sports to prevent trauma 

– Seek medical attention if the piercing site becomes inflamed or swollen or if you present with any signs of infection such as fever and chills 

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

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