If you or a loved one is considering an oral piercing, you have to take the time to consider the decision seriously. The mouth is a dynamic area, with numerous muscles and nerves, not to mention teeth, that can be affected by a piercing. Here are some of the potential consequences of an oral piercing, as well as tips on keeping your mouth healthy after a piercing, courtesy of the American Dental Association.
Before You Get a Piercing Consider:
The risk of infection. Because your mouth already has a significant population of bacteria, there is a high risk of infection, and, once started, infections can become life-threatening if not promptly treated. Sometimes infections can cause the tongue to swell, which can block your airway.
Damage to gums and teeth can result from playing with piercings. They can also damage fillings.
Allergic reaction to metals is possible.
Nerve damage can result from a piercing. This may affect your ability to move your mouth or tongue, and may affect your sense of taste.
Blood loss after a tongue piercing can be serious, even fatal. If you get a piercing and significant blood loss persists, contact your doctor.
Excessive drooling can occur after you introduce a piercing in your mouth.
Piercings interfere with dental imaging, including x-rays and MRIs. Getting a piercing in your mouth may increase the chances that you need to get more advanced imaging to see important details in your mouth.
Caring for Oral Piercings
Keep the piercing clean with a mouth rinse after every meal.
Don’t hit the jewelry against your teeth. This can result in damage to your teeth.
Keep the jewelry secure to avoid accidentally dislodging and swallowing it.
Remove the jewelry during sports and always wear a mouthguard.
Watch for swelling, pain, fever, and red streaks around jewelry. These are signs of an infection that must be treated immediately.
Comprehensive Cosmetic Oral Health Care
Whether or not you have piercings, it’s important to see your dentist regularly. At Smile Columbia Dentistry, we can help you protect your mouth against infections and other potential effects of oral piercings. We also offer cosmetic dentistry treatments like porcelain veneers that can be used to restore damage caused to teeth by jewelry.