Oral piercings continue to grow in popularity among young men and women and often cause serious oral health complications. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends avoiding the placement of oral or perioral piercings due to their adverse health risks. Learn more about how oral piercings can impact your smile before getting one to make an informed decision.
Oral Piercings Overview
Oral piercings are typically placed intraorally on the tongue or periorally on the cheeks, lips, frenulum, or even the back of the throat. The jewelry comes in different styles like rings, barbells, and studs.
What Are the Oral Risks of Oral Piercings?
Although oral piercings may be fashionable, they come with many oral health risks, including the following:
- Chipped and Fractured Teeth: Biting down on jewelry in your mouth can chip or fracture your teeth or restorations.
- Gum Trauma: Jewelry can injure the gum tissue and cause gum recession, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth-root decay.
- Infection: Millions of oral bacteria reside in the mouth, increasing the risk of infection around the oral piercings.
- Impaired Oral Function: Oral jewelry can make speaking challenging and can interfere with chewing and swallowing.
- Nerve Damage: Some patients experience nerve damage leading to a numb tongue, affecting the sense of taste, and interfering with mouth movement.
What Are the Overall Health Risks of Oral Piercings?
Oral piercings not only pose an oral health risk but also come with risks to your health, including the following:
- Pain and Swelling: Oral piercings increase the risk of pain and swelling, which in some severe cases makes it difficult to breathe and requires emergency medical care.
- Excessive Bleeding: A blood vessel can be accidentally punctured during piercing, resulting in severe bleeding and blood loss, which requires emergency medical care.
- Endocarditis: Piercings can allow harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, leading to the inflammation of the heart valves or tissue, a serious condition known as endocarditis.
- Choking: Pieces of jewelry often break off, posing a significant choking hazard.
Quality Dentistry Near Me
We, at High Street Dentistry in Jefferson City, MO, don’t recommend oral piercings, but respect your decision and are committed to supporting your oral health every step of the way. During your routine dental exams and cleanings, we will examine your piercings to ensure the surrounding teeth and gums stay healthy. You can always count on us for outstanding, gentle care! Call us and schedule your appointment today!