Karen J Harris, DMD & Associates

How Do Oral Piercings Affect Oral Health?

How Do Oral Piercings Affect Oral Health?

Piercings are very common these days. They are different from tattoos because piercings are external, and tattoos are internal. Both children and adults can have piercings.

What Are Oral Piercings?

An oral piercing is any piece of body jewelry that is placed directly in the mouth, usually the tongue or lip. Many people who get oral piercings are the teenage and young adult crowd. However, some adults still get them, too.

When getting an oral piercing, a dentist will often refuse to complete the procedure due to the risk of infections, nerve damage, and other complications. If you choose to get one despite this advice, you should regularly visit our dentist in St. Louis, MO, to check on your oral health.

Common bacteria found in your mouth can cause an infection in your piercing. This infection can lead to swelling of the gums and skin around the mouth area and even cause bone loss in the area if you have a tongue piercing. Having an infected piercing can also increase your risk of other oral health problems, such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and much more. Also, in some cases, the jewelry can chip your teeth, or the piercing can tear your gums.

While some people get their tongue pierced to temporarily change their look, most keep their tongue pierced for the rest of their lives. As you can see, having a tongue piercing can put you at risk of developing serious oral health issues, so it’s best avoided. Contact us to learn more!

How Are They Done?

The two main types of oral piercings are tongue and lip rings. Tongue piercings are done through the front teeth, and the piercer will puncture a hole and insert a post through that hole. Lip rings are placed through the lower lip, between the lips. The piercer cuts a small slit in the lip and then inserts the post through the hole as well. After the jewelry is inserted, the piercer will close up the holes with sterile gauze. Your mouth will be sore for a while after the piercing, so professional cleanings will need to be done regularly to remove any excess bacteria or food particles that are left behind.

What Materials Are Used?

Metal: When metal is used, the post of the stud is thin enough to pass through the gum tissue into the jaw. The piece of jewelry can then slide freely along the post without causing damage or irritation to the gums or surrounding teeth. This is the most common type of oral piercing for males.

Acrylic:A piece of acrylic will be used and then affixed to the backside of the earlobe. The lack of posts makes this option more comfortable to wear over the long term, but the material can irritate the gum line and cause discomfort over time.

Potential Risks Associated With Oral Piercings

When considering getting an oral piercing, it's essential to be aware of the potential risks that come with it. One major concern is the risk of infection. The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, and introducing a foreign object like a piercing can increase the likelihood of infection.

Another common issue is damage to teeth and gums. Constant contact between the piercing jewelry and teeth or gums can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, as well as gum recession. This can result in costly dental procedures down the line.

Additionally, oral piercings can interfere with normal oral functions such as chewing and speaking. Tongue piercings especially have been known to cause speech impediments and difficulties with proper pronunciation.

It's crucial to weigh these risks carefully before deciding on an oral piercing. Always consult with our dentist in St. Louis, MO, or a professional piercer and prioritize proper aftercare to minimize any potential complications that may arise.

Aftercare and Maintenance Tips

So, you've decided to get an oral piercing - cool choice! Now, let's talk about how to take care of it. First things first, always wash your hands before touching the piercing. Cleanliness is key to prevent infections. 

Rinsing your mouth with a saline solution or non-alcoholic mouthwash after meals can help keep bacteria at bay. Avoid playing with the piercing or moving it around too much during the healing process; this can cause irritation and slow down the healing time.

Make sure to brush your teeth gently twice a day and avoid using alcohol-based products around the piercing area as they can be harsh on your skin. If you notice any signs of infection like swelling, redness, or discharge, don't hesitate to contact your piercer or dentist in 63103 for advice.

Remember, patience is crucial when it comes to oral piercings - they take time to heal properly. Stay consistent with your aftercare routine and listen to your body's signals for optimal healing results.

Get in touch with our office, Karen J Harris & Associates, at 2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103, or call (314) 231-4893 to learn more. Our team will be happy to have you here!


2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103

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Email: kharrisdmd@sbcglobal.net

Phone: (314) 231-4893