Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

Many folks like to change their appearance as a way to express their personality. Some people may prefer to alter their hair color, wear specific styles of clothing, or sport piercings or dermal modifications as a form of self-expression.

While there is nothing wrong with celebrating one’s individuality, we should all weigh the pros and cons when it comes to modifying our bodies. Oral piercings and facial modifications can affect oral health, sometimes in unexpected ways. Before you get an oral piercing, you might want to talk with our dentist about how it can negatively affect your health and steps you can take to diminish your risk for oral disease.

How Oral Piercings Can Harm Teeth

Oral piercings, especially tongue piercings can cause untimely wear on teeth. The metal components of a piercing constantly scraping against and hitting teeth can break down tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is a protective, mineralized barrier around teeth that prevents bacteria from eating through a tooth’s structure. If tooth enamel is damaged, the underlying structures of teeth can become decayed.

If you have a lip or tongue piercing, we recommend practicing mindfulness. Avoid tapping your piercing against your teeth as a nervous habit as it can break down enamel. Patients with these types of oral piercings do have a higher risk of tooth decay and dental injuries.

Increased Risks for Infections

Dermal modifications around the mouth along with piercings including tongue and lip rings can become infected. This is because the hole created by the piercing exposes the inner surfaces of skin and soft tissues like the tongue or lining of the lips to oral bacteria. Even if you practice thorough oral hygiene, your mouth is full of harmful bacteria that can infect open sores and inflamed tissue. Since dermal modifications and piercings increase the risk of infection, it is important to receive routine checkups and cleanings with our dentist and practice good oral hygiene.

To schedule a checkup at our practice, call our caring team today.

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