Piercings have become a very popular trend for many years now, and many cultures have wore oral piercings for decades if not centuries. But very little consideration is taken when it comes to oral health and teeth.
Oral piercings can be placed in the tongue, around the lips, uvula and even on the side of the cheeks. And all of these locations bring a risk to your health and your teeth.
As we all know, hundreds of bacteria live in the mouth, and an open wound when the piercing is first introduced to the oral cavity, can bring an array of problems. The most important one to consider is infection. Infection to the pierced tongue or uvula can cause inflammation, obstructing the airway making it difficult to breath (life threatening emergency). A change to become hypersensitive to metals exist too, making it impossible for the wound to heal. Prolong bleeding from a puncture, opens the door for bacteria in the mouth to travel to other parts of your body through bloodstream, increasing the risk of Endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart valves, and can be a life-threating condition too. Although Endocarditis is uncommon on healthy hearts, many people are unaware of defective heart valves, and those with damaged heart valves, artificial heart valves and other heart defects, are at a greater risk.
While the piercing heals, it is considered an open wound, and it also means easy access for blood born diseases to enter your body. For example, Hepatitis B, C and HIV.
Once your piercing has completely healed, the risks of having jewelry in the mouth continue. A pierced tongue, lip, or cheek can stimulate your salivary glands, causing hyper salivation which can affect speech, chewing and swallowing. The contact of the metal piercing with the gum, can cause gum recession, exposing the root of the teeth, making unattractive and more vulnerable to root caries. Playing around with your piercing such as biting it or rubbing it against your teeth can cause scratches and cracks to your natural teeth and to the present restorations. Cracked teeth and broken restorations are perfect areas for caries to form and special attention should be given. Piercings can also become easily loose with constant mouth and tongue movement, which makes it a hazard to choke or get ingested.
Last but not least, piercings affect the diagnostic of oral radiographs during dental visits.
Overall, oral piercings demand a lot of attention and can become high maintenance once the teeth and gum had been affected, requiring more frequent dental appointments and adjunctivetreatments. The best prevention you can have, it’s to avoid oral piercings altogether.
Think it over, and take care so you can keep Smiling.
All the Best,
Jenn your Hygienist from HQ DONTICS DENTAL CENTRE> MIAMI