Piercings are becoming a more prevalent form of self-expression in society today and a fashion statement by many.  If you are contemplating getting a tongue or lip piercing, this type of oral jewelry can have serious dental consequences. Most dentists discourage oral piercings and we will discuss some of the risk and pitfalls to consider.

Risks of Oral Piercings

• Chipped Teeth.  Chips and or fractures may occur from the jewelry hitting your teeth while eating, talking, or sleeping. Minor chips to your teeth can be fixed with fillings, but the more tooth structure breaks the more serious the problem and this can lead to crowns or extractions.

• Swelling of the Tongue. This is a common side effect after piercing. If your tongue swells to much, your airway can become blocked and prevent you from breathing.

• Nerve Damage. Temporary or permanent nerve damage can occur, making your tongue or mouth numb. This can also affect your sense of taste.

• Allergic Reactions. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to certain metals.

• Infections. Your mouth is already a breeding ground for bacteria, therefore, when you have an oral piercing, bacteria can enter your bloodstream. Poor brushing habits can also lead to infection.

If you decide to get an oral piercing take care of it. Always remove the jewelry when you eat, sleep, or play any type of sports. Clean the piercing with an antiseptic mouthwash after eating and brush the jewelry the same as you would your teeth to help remove plaque. Before you get an oral piercing, I would talk with a dentist about it first. 

If you have questions call or email me at Integrity Dental Care, PLLC (615) 445-8700 or email dr.jmitchell@integritydentalcares.com with any questions you may have.