The side effects of oral piercings are much more than just malocclusion. Your breath may not be as fresh anymore. Eew! Getting body piercings has become popular as a form of individual expression. What some people don’t know is that an oral piercing, placed on the tongue, lips or cheek involves greater risks than those placed in the ear, skin and other body parts.
We know, piercing is a hot fashion trend, but before piercing somewhere inside the mouth, we recommend talking to your dentist and ask:
What are the risks of oral piercings?
You may not know the side effects of oral piercings and must be aware of the risks, which are much more than just malocclusion. These include (but are not limited to):
- Infections: Our mouths contain millions of bacteria that can grow most rapidly, causing infections after the placement of an oral piercing. Plus, because of the amount of bacteria, your breath may not be as fresh anymore. Eew!
- Pain and swelling: These are common symptoms of oral piercings. In more severe cases, a swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and restrict breathing, causing fear and panic and even death!
- Long term damage to teeth: Contact with jewellery can fracture teeth and may cause tooth loss. Teeth with fillings and crowns can also be damaged by metal parts.
- Interference: Beyond increased saliva production, the jewellery get in the way when you speak and can cause chewing problems, interfering with healthy eating.
- Injury to the oral mucosa: The metal parts may not only hurt the gum tissue, which is quite delicate, but they can also cause gum recessions. In addition to looking very unattractive, it can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and/or periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss.
- The Tongue has an excellent blood supply, which is directly connected with the heart. Tongue Piercings lead to risk of:
- Prolonged bleeding: If an artery or vein is punctured by the needle during the piercing placement procedure, it can cause bleeding difficult to be controlled, with excessive blood loss.
- Endocarditis: Tongue piercings can cause endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves or tissues. The wound caused by piercing can be an open gateway for bacteria to enter into your bloodstream from the mouth and reach the heart.
If you can’t beat them, join them
So if the patient insists on the use of oral piercing, there are a few guidelines to try to avoid problems:
The perfect hygiene: after each meal, brush your teeth and give greater attention to the area where the piercing was placed. Remove the ornament, brush your teeth, floss, sanitize the tongue and inner cheeks with a brush and then brush the piercing as a dental prosthesis before putting it in place.
Leave the piercing “alone”: don’t play with it between your teeth, twist or touch the piercing with your hands, as these types of habits increase the risk of trauma and infection to the mucosa.
Be very careful during chewing: make sure you are not biting the piercing, which can cause fractures in the teeth or bleeding.
With respect to our readers, we decided not to display images of infected oral piercings in this article. Click here to see some pictures: https://goo.gl/QuNJTe
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