Piercings have become increasingly popular in recent times. While most people think of facial piercings solely when they hear that term, many ignore the danger of oral piercings; even seemingly harmless ones like tongue rings can have serious health repercussions if not properly cared for. As a general dentist and healthcare provider, I’m here to provide insight into the potential complications associated with oral piercings so you can be aware of these risks should you choose to get one!
According to general dentists, oral piercings can actually be hazardous to your health. Your personal style is how you portray yourself, and you may have considered oral piercings as part of this. However, you may not realize that these piercings can harm your gums and mouth. This also includes your teeth.
Problems with Tongue and Ling Rings
While no piercing is completely safe, oral piercings are especially dangerous. Patients can have an allergic reaction or have the area become infected. There are several problems that oral piercings can cause for individuals, which can include:
- Fidgeting damage: it can be difficult to resist playing with the oral piercing in the mouth. This can cause the teeth to become cracked or chipped. Fillings can become damaged and the soft tissues can get injured
- Nerve damage: if an oral piercing is in the tongue, it can damage the nerves there
- Gum damage: when an oral piercing rubs against the gums, it can cause the tissue to wear away. This can cause the roots of the teeth to be exposed
- Infections: a piercing can allow bacteria in the mouth to go into the bloodstream
- Drooling: an object such as a piercing can stimulate the saliva glands and cause the individual to drool more
- X-rays: because piercings show up as bright objects on X-rays, the piercings can obscure other parts of the mouth
Problems with Oral Piercings and Braces
For patients with braces, oral piercings can pose a problem. A piercing can easily become tangled with the orthodontic appliance, damaging the braces. This can also cause injuries around the piercing area. General dentists recommend that patients wait until after braces before choosing an oral piercing.
The Proper Way to Take Care for an Oral Piercing
An oral piercing can cause damage to the mouth and the teeth. However, for patients who decide to go ahead with the piercing, it is important to properly care for it. One of the most important parts of caring for an oral piercing is proper oral hygiene.
Patients should clean the piercing area after each meal, snack or beverage. This can prevent food particles from getting trapped in the area. Patients should also remove the piercing before physical activity, which will reduce the risk of any injuries or damage. To prevent the piercing from damaging the teeth, patients should resist the urge to play with the piercing in the mouth. This can cause cracked teeth.
If a patient notices signs of infection, then it is important to go to the general dentist immediately. Signs of infection can include pain, swelling, redness, fever or chills.
Visit Your Dentist Today
While getting an oral piercing may not be the ideal situation, caring for the piercing properly can help to minimize damage. Good oral hygiene is a must for anyone with an oral piercing. This includes proper cleaning after each meal or snack. If you are thinking about getting an oral piercing, you should make an appointment with a general dentist to discuss your options.