Posted .

Oral piercings have become popular over the years, and while they are a creative way to express yourself, they are not without risks. If you are considering a tongue or lip piercing, please be aware of the risks as they can also be destructive to your oral health.

There was a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association which found that tongue and lip piercings can cause tooth loss, because of gum tissue. As the piercing jewelry is left in the mouth and constantly touches the gums, the gums may begin to recede and the teeth can become chipped or fractured. There is also increased risk of damage to the nerves and inflammation at the piercing site. Periodontitis is another issue, which happens when the layer of gum tissue and bone create pockets as they pull back from the teeth. Once this occurs, the teeth can become loose and fall out from lack of support.

Signs to be aware of after you have a piercing which might indicate a health risk: a discharge from the site which is yellow or green, thickening and darkening of the gums around the site, redness, swollen or tender gums without getting better, an abscess at the site, bleeding or tearing after the piercing has healed, or a low grade fever that doesn’t go away.

If you proceed with an oral piercing, please take good care of it and follow the aftercare directions given to you by your piercing professional. The good news is, the antiseptic aspects of saliva can help your tongue piercing heal, so stay hydrated to keep saliva production up. Bear in mind that it normally takes anywhere from four to six weeks to heal a piercing on the tongue, and up to two months for a lip piercing.

Oral piercings can definitely affect the health of your smile if you are not careful. If you have any questions or concerns about an oral piercing, please see doctor Dr. Jon C. Packman. We can be reached by calling our dedicated dental team in Statesville, North Carolina at 704.873.2211 today!