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June 12th, 2019

3 Key Dental Concerns with Oral Piercings

You are excited as you head out to get your tongue pierced but before you do, you should consider the repercussions it could have. At your next dentist appointment, your dentist could discover some damaged teeth or infection. You’ve never experienced dental issues before so why would you now? What changes could possibly create oral health problems? Your new tongue piercing!

Oral piercings can complicate your dental health. First, let’s distinguish what an oral piercing is. It is a small hole in your lip, cheek, tongue, or uvula, made for jewellery.

What complications can arise from oral piercings?

1. Damaged Teeth, Gums and Fillings

Do you play with your oral piercings? This seems harmless but can actually injure your gums, crack your teeth, or even create scratched, sensitive teeth. Are there fillings currently in your mouth? Your fillings might be harmed from the constant movement of this jewellery. Hard materials such as stainless steel, metal, titanium, nickel, gold, or plastic attack and slowly chip away at your teeth.

Visiting your dentist for regular oral exams allows any damage in your mouth to be discovered and fixed if needed. When left unattended, small cracks and chips can lead to a mouthful of problems.

2. Nerve Damage

Did you get your tongue pierced only to find you now have a hard time speaking, chewing, and swallowing? Is it also difficult for you to taste grandma’s apple pie? Piercing your tongue can result in numbness caused by nerve damage. This loss of sensation may cause you to injure your tongue unknowingly. Damage may result in serious blood loss. If you are experiencing symptoms of nerve damage after an oral piercing, check with your dentist or doctor to see what can be done to help you.

3. Infection

Your mouth is normally very moist, an ideal environment for breeding bacteria. Oral piercings open a portal for infections due to the breakage of surface skin or mucous tissue. Openings are more susceptible to infection, similar to an open wound from a scratch or cut. Out of all the oral piercings, lip piercings are the most common place infections are transferred. Why? They are continuously in contact with the skin surface and mouth cavity, exposing them to external and internal bacteria. If you have an oral piercing, have your dentist consistently check your mouth for any signs of infection. Treating your infections right away will lessen the risk of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

It is important to understand that your dentist may not be able to solve your dental issues normally when you have an oral piercing. Dental treatments may require extra care to avoid tools getting caught on your jewellery. Your dentist might have difficulty getting clear looking x-rays. Oral piercings block some of the abilities of the camera and might need to be taken several times to get any sort of usable images. Your dentist will have a difficult time trying to figure out the details of your teeth from a distorted film.

Are you re-considering getting your oral piercing now? Perhaps you already have one. Franklin Dental Centre wants to make sure you know the appropriate precautions and procedures related to oral piercings. Visit your dentist regularly to avoid any complications with your mouth jewellery.

Dr. Gurshant

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on June 12th, 2019

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