Oral Surgery Clifton NJ

Exploring the Risks of Oral Piercings: What You Need to Know

June 10, 2024

Today, one thing is certain. The popularity of oral piercings, particularly those of the tongue and lips, has skyrocketed as a form of self-expression. But beyond their aesthetic appeal, these body adornments come with significant risks to your oral health and overall well-being.

The Dangers of Tongue Piercings

Tongue piercings involve inserting jewelry through the tongue's muscular tissue, creating a piercing that will come into direct contact with teeth and gums. Among the primary risks associated with tongue piercings are local and systemic infections. In fact, infections are more commonly reported with tongue piercings than other types of piercings. This is due to a combination of factors, including potential lack of sterilization and infection control, as well as the mouth's natural bacterial environment that can contribute to an infection.

Additionally, metal tongue jewelry can chip or fracture teeth, especially if individuals habitually bite down on the piercing. Furthermore, a tongue piercing can lead to gum recession over time, as the jewelry may irritate and injure delicate gum tissue.

Lip Piercings: Not Without Consequences

Lip piercings, whether located on the upper or lower lip, also pose significant risks to oral health. Like tongue piercings, lip jewelry can cause dental trauma when it comes into contact with teeth during speech, eating, or other oral activities. As with tongue piercing, lip jewelry creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of inflammation and infection.

Other Health Risks of Oral Piercings

Beyond dental concerns, oral piercings can lead to a range of complications affecting overall well-being. For example, tongue piercings may interfere with speech articulation, causing lisps or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. Moreover, the presence of oral piercings increases the risk of soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations or puncture wounds, which can become infected if not properly cared for. In severe cases, oral piercings have been associated with serious complications, including nerve damage, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions to metal jewelry.

Protecting Your Smile and Health

At New Smile Dentistry, we strive to provide care that promotes optimal oral health and beautiful smiles. While oral piercings may represent a popular form of self-expression, they come with significant risks that should not be ignored. If you currently have an oral piercing and intend to keep it, remember to prioritize regular dental check-ups and diligent oral hygiene practices. It's the best way to mitigate potential risks and preserve your smile for years to come.

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Our goal is to help every patient experience the benefits of good oral health and a beautiful smile. We value the trust you have placed in our office and strive to provide solutions that meet your dental needs and expectations of care.