To pierce or not to pierce? Risks of Oral Piercing

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You are considering an oral piercing thinking it might be a great way to improve your appearance and look youthful and unique? Many people say that the sensations of kissing with a piercing are remarkable for both people sharing a kiss. And certainly, as a way of self-expression it looks quite appealing. Well, have you thought about possible “side effects” of a mouth piercing when it comes to dental hygiene and oral health? Probably not, so here’s a chance.

Mouth piercings may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. That’s because your mouth already contains millions of bacteria, even without the mouth jewelry. By creating a wound for the piercing, an additional amount of bacteria gathers in your mouth, increasing the risk of infections. Oral piercing increases the risk factor for the transmission of diseases such as herpes simplex virus and hepatitis B and C. Even worse, the bacteria could enter the bloodstream and cause the inflammation of the heart. Tongue swelling sometimes occurs as the consequence of piercing. It can be so severe to block the airway and make breathing difficult. Tongue piercing can cause difficulties with chewing, swallowing food, drooling and speaking clearly because the jewelry stimulates an excessive production of saliva. Taste can also be altered.

Oral piercings increase the risk of gum disease because the jewelry comes into contact with gum tissue and injures it or causes a recession of the gum tissue. We all know that gum disease can lead to tooth damage and in the worst case scenario – tooth loss. At the base of the inside of your mouth there is a thing called frenulum. Basically it is a string-like tissue between the inside of your lip and the bottom of your gum line. If a piercing is placed too low underneath your lip, your frenulum and the lower part of your gum line suffers because the jewelry will rub against your frenulum causing swelling, soreness or cuts.

Teeth that come into contact with mouth jewelry can chip or crack. Piercings can damage fillings as well. People who are hypersensitive can experience allergic reaction to metal – the so called allergic contact dermatitis. Loose mouth jewelry can become dangerous because it can be swallowed and result in different digestive track or lungs injuries.

Chewing on or playing with your teeth jewelry can cause you to lose tooth enamel. Loss of enamel causes tooth sensitivity and if it happens, an immediate removal of the lip ring is required. Only a dentist can help in such scenarios because enamel doesn’t fix on its own. Especially harmful is larger jewelry because it moves constantly. It can get caught in between your teeth while chewing and make your tooth crack or chip. So, always go to professional piercers because your mouth is a sensitive area.

If you already have piercings, maintain your dental hygiene and keep the piercing site clean. Brush and rinse with a mouthwash after every meal. Also try not to click the jewelry against teeth and be aware of the jewelry’s movement when talking and chewing. The athletes must remove the jewelry and protect their mouth with a mouthguard. Naturally, see your dentist for regular check-ups, brush twice a day and floss daily.

So, all in all, if you notice problems, it is better to remove the piercing before it becomes worse. But think beforehand, the piercing will be an extra responsibility in your life because it requires constant attention and careful upkeep. Your dentist can help you if you are in doubt – better safe than sorry!
Before putting the thing into your mouth, you have to consider the fact that your mouth is a moist environment, which makes it a suitable home to a huge variety of bacteria. As such, it is an ideal place for infections. Each infection is potentially health and life threatening if not treated promptly. So, why put an additional source of potential problems into your mouth?

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