Oral Piercings may be all the rage, but if you, or someone you know, have been considering a tongue, cheek, uvula, or lip piercing, there are some things to think about before you decide to take the plunge.
The American Dental Association explains that there are serious health risks when it comes to oral piercings. These include infection, excessive bleeding, infectious disease, nerve damage and gum disease. Other problems that could occur from oral piercing include tooth breakage and a serious condition known as Endocarditis.
Once the wound has been created by the piercing, additional bacteria is introduced to the already millions of bacteria that call your mouth home. Introduce jewelry and you are at risk of infection, especially if you or the person who places your barbell, stud, or ring has not properly sanitized the jewelry or their hands. If infection is not treated immediately, it could be life threatening.
Oral piercings pose a potential threat when it comes to the risk of blood borne disease such as herpes simplex virus and hepatitis B, C, D, and G. According to the National Institute of Health, oral piercings can transmit these infectious diseases.
Even if you have your tongue, cheek, lip, or uvula pierced by an experienced piercer, there are things that could go wrong. Your blood vessels could become punctured leading to excessive bleeding, not to mention the numbness that naturally occurs after the procedure. In some cases, that loss of sensation could cause permanent nerve damage.
Swelling is natural after a tongue piercing, but it has been reported that some people have been sent to the hospital, as the swelling was so severe that it blocked the airways making breathing next to impossible.
In a recent dental journal it was reported that more than 47 percent of people who had oral piercings and wore mouth jewelry damaged dental restorations and chipped at least one tooth.
Your dentist will tell you that gum disease is more prevalent in people who have had oral piercings. This could be due to the long stemmed tongue jewelry, or barbells, that are worn in the cheek, tongue, and lip. If the jewelry is exposed to the soft gum tissue, it could cause gums to recede, exposing the gum line to tooth decay or eventual tooth loss.
If jewelry becomes loose inside your mouth, jewelry aspiration is a real possibility. If you swallow or choke on part of the barbell, stud or ring it could cause injury to your lungs or digestive track. Contact our office if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Weiss to evaluate your oral health with piercings.