How Oral Piercings Affect Your Dental Health

Dentist Blog

Oral piercings have become more popular in recent years, but will this rise in popularity also lead to a rise in related complications and poor overall dental health? Recent research points to yes, as dentists and other oral health experts consistently caution their patients and others against these types of piercings. This form of self-expression may look cool, but it can lead to long-term adverse health problems.

1. Damage to Teeth and Gums

One of the first symptoms to be observed in patients with oral piercings is the immediate damage to tissue adjacent to the piercing. The abrasive nature of the jewelry can wear on teeth and gums, and the common habit of playing with the jewelry can crack and damage teeth. It can also make teeth more sensitive in general and damage fillings.

2. Infection

The mouth is a moist, warm environment, home to a multitude of different types of bacteria. Some are good for the body, but some not so much. Tongue or lip piercings are highly susceptible to infection, which can cause pain, fever, and swelling, and become life threatening if not treated promptly. Infection may also cause the tongue to swell and obstruct the airway.

3. Nerve Damage

An improperly placed tongue piercing can result in permanent nerve damage and a numb tongue, even if just by millimeters. This affects the sense of taste, speech, and how you move your mouth.

4. Periodontitis and Tooth Loss

Wearing oral piercings even over relatively short periods of time has been shown to lead to periodontitis. This is a disease where the inner layer of gum tissue recedes from the bone, creating empty pockets, loose teeth, or even causing teeth to fall out altogether.

5. Transmission of Disease

Oral piercings can also contribute to the spread of nasty infectious diseases. As there are a vast amount of diseases, the most common include:

  • Herpes Simplex Virus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis Cā€‹ā€‹

6. Endocarditis

Endocarditis is also an issue to watch out for when having an oral piercing as bacteria from the mouth or equipment could enter the wound. This makes it easy to build up and enters the bloodstream. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart or its valves in certain people with underlying, often symptomless and undiagnosed, heart problems.

7. Jewelry Aspiration

If your jewelry loosens, it could become a choking hazard. This could also result to your lungs or digestive tract being harmed if it gets inhaled. This is a common danger for those who sleep or nap with their piercing jewelry in. 

So now you see that pain is not the only concern with oral piercings. Discuss with your dentist any concerns you may have before or after having one. 

Talk to experts like Montillo Dental Associates Braintree for more information.


20 April 2015

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