It’s well known that body piercing is a very popular form of self-expression. Oral piercing may look cool, but it can be extremely dangerous to your health. The reason for this is because your mouth contains millions of bacteria. Infections and swelling can happen with mouth piercings. For example, your mouth and tongue could swell so badly that your airway could become closed off and you could choke on the jewelry if it breaks off and gets stuck in your throat. There have been cases where people have cracked a tooth from biting down hard on their piercing. Repeated clicking of the jewelry against your teeth can also cause serious damage. Oral piercings could also lead to more serious infections such as hepatitis and endocarditis.
What Can Happen if You Get an Oral Piercing?
Oral piercings can cause infection, pain and swelling. Your mouth is a wet environment that is home to large amounts of bacteria that can breed, which is the perfect place for an infection to set in. An infection in your mouth can very quickly become life threatening if it’s not treated quickly and properly. A tongue piercing can cause your tongue to swell, which is a potential hazard for blocking your airway.
Damage to the gums, teeth, and fillings can happen from biting or playing with the piercing in your tongue. Teeth can become cracked and you can injure your gums causing them to bleed. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction at the piercing site. Teeth can become sensitive or scratched.
Nerve damage can happen from getting a tongue piercing. You might experience a numb tongue at the time of the piercing, but that numbness can remain permanent. Your sense of taste can be affected and damage to your blood vessels can happen causing very serious blood loss. Your speech can be effected. The jewelry can also interfere with being able to get x-rays at your dental checkups. Your piercing can even cause increased saliva production which can lead to excessive drooling.
What if You Already Have a Piercing?
Contact your doctor or dentist right away if you have any signs of an infection, including swelling, pain, fever, shills, shaking, or red streaks around the piercing site. Keep the piercing clean and free of any particles that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after each meal.
Try to avoid clinking your jewelry against your teeth. Be aware of the movement of the jewelry when talking and chewing. Check how tight your jewelry is periodically. This will help prevent you from accidentally swallowing or choking on your jewelry if it becomes loose.
If you participate in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouth guard or face mask. See your dentist regularly and always brush and floss at least twice per day.
Obviously, the best option if to remove the jewelry from your mouth before it has a chance to cause any problems. Don’t just get a piercing on a whim. It’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly. It requires constant attention and upkeep and can cause serious problems in the future.
If you already have a tongue piercing, or just recently got one, and you suddenly experience signs of infection, you need to get to your dentist as soon as possible. The professionals at Simply Smiles Dentistry can help you treat any infection you may have and help educate you on how to prevent another one in the future.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!