If you’re considering getting any oral piercings, you should know that they can raise a few different concerns regarding your oral health. While many people pierce their tongue or lip without any issues, that’s not the case for everyone. It’s important to understand the potential risks that come with this decision.
What to Be Aware of with Your Oral Piercings
Before you receive an oral piercing, there are several potential outcomes you consider. These include the following:
Potential for Infection
There is a considerable amount of bacteria in your mouth, and piercings open the door for that bacteria to cause an infection. Infection can range from simply uncomfortable and unpleasant to life-threatening if not treated properly.
If you’re going to get a piercing, it’s crucial to sterilize and maintain good hygiene, particularly while it heals. Keep the area of the piercing clean at all times, make sure to brush and floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate bacteria. If you experience redness, swelling at the site of the piercing, a fever, or chills,1 it is imperative to address it promptly.
Sometimes, the metal piercing can cause an adverse reaction, resulting in redness, swelling, itchiness, and more. This sensitivity may not be something you’re aware of prior to the piercing, as the internal tissue that comes in contact with the metal is often more sensitive than external tissue. One possible way to avoid this problem is to choose jewelry with low nickel content.
Damage to Teeth, Gums, and Dental Fillings
Metal jewelry in your mouth can chip or scratch a tooth, cut the mouth’s soft tissue, or even damage a dental filling. Tongue piercings, in particular, tend to cause these issues, as they come in constant contact with these parts of your mouth.
Increased Saliva Production
Putting anything in your mouth can stimulate the salivary glands and produce excess saliva, and having a tongue piercing means always having a foreign object in the mouth. Thus, excess saliva production remains a constant possibility.
Puncturing soft tissue can affect the nerves, which in the case of tongue piercings can sometimes lead to temporary numbness, altered sense of taste, and other issues. For some people, the nerve damage is permanent.
Avoiding Issues with Oral Piercings
Again, many people receive oral piercings and don’t experience any long-term issues. However, those who never encountered a problem likely also took the proper measures to avoid complications. If you’re getting a piercing in your mouth, make sure to do the following:
Antiseptic mouthwashes, regular rinsing, and consistent brushing and flossing can help to keep the piercing site free of infection-causing bacteria. Also, ensure to keep the area clear of any food debris that may cling to it.
Be Careful with the Jewelry
It’s important to remember the damage oral piercings can do to your teeth and gums. You should also avoid playing with or biting the piercing. These habits are common and can be somewhat unconscious, so take care to keep your oral health in mind.
Address Signs of Infection Promptly
If you feel the piercing site may have become infected, do not hesitate to contact a dentist or physician immediately. Infections can be treated easily if addressed early on, but they can become a serious issue when ignored.
Want to Know More?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding how oral piercings might affect your oral health, you can address them by contacting Empire Dental Care today. Give us a call at 585-671-1650.