Oral Piercings and Oral Health

istock 492812856It seems like everyone nowadays has a piercing or two – and it goes way beyond just ears. Oral piercings are popular right now, and if you are thinking about getting a piercing in your lip, tongue, or another part of the mouth, here are some things you should know about oral piercings and their cosmetic effects on teeth and oral health.

What are the risks of getting an oral piercing?

The American Dental Association has put together a list of potential risks that come with getting an oral piercing. These include:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth. Any crowns you have are particularly vulnerable to damage from jewelry.
  • Gum injury. An oral piercing can damage your gums by rubbing against them, causing them to recede.
  • Interference with normal oral functioning. Jewelry can lead to excessive saliva, making it difficult to pronounce words correctly and eventually even interfering with chewing and swallowing.
  • If the bacteria that is naturally in your mouth gets into your piercing, it may lead to an infection. The risk of infection is increased if you use tobacco products.
  • Heart problems. If bacteria gets into your bloodstream through a piercing and travels to your heart, you may end up with endocarditis (inflammation of the heart).
  • Hepatitis B and C. It is vital, not just for your oral health but for your overall health, to make sure whoever gives you your piercing uses a clean needle.

How should I care for my oral piercing?

It is important to keep your mouth and your piercing as clean as you can. Stay away from tobacco products, and avoid putting any objects in your mouth that might have bacteria, such as pens and pencils. Avoid playing with your piercing. And, make sure to take your piercing out if you play sports or are participating in another strenuous activity.

If you do get an oral piercing, make sure you take good care of your mouth, by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year or whenever you have any problems. Make an appointment at the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, today!  Call (713) 668-2289.

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