Oral piercings have long been a popular trend among young people here in Southern California, but many people are not aware that these type of piercings can have dramatic, long-term consequences on teeth.
No matter what precautions are taken during an initial piercing, the jewelry can cause cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and even scarring. There is also a possibility of choking on a piece of dislodged jewelry, which makes it important to ask if the risks are warranted.
Other potential problems include:
- Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site are also possible.
- Nerve damage. After a piercing, you may experience a numb tongue that is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary, but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. Damage to your tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.
- Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.
- Dental appointment difficulties. The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.
One of the most serious long-term health problems that may occur from oral piercings come in the form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate. Infections, particularly, pose a serious risk. When performed in an unsterile environment, any kind of body piercing may also put you at risk of contracting deadly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Don’t pierce on a whim!
We value our patients individualistic expressions, but we also encourage people who are thinking about getting an oral piercing to consult our dental team here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES. We can talk to you about the potential risks, and help you make an informed decision.