Many people opt for body piercings as a means of self-expression, but certain piercings carry more inherent risk than others. Piercings in the mouth, for example, can have both temporary and long-term effects on oral health. Here’s what you need to know before deciding on lip or tongue piercings.
Risks Involved With Lip or Tongue Piercings
The mouth is host to millions of tiny bacteria, all of which could trigger an infection at the site of a piercing. Piercings in the mouth area can also cause problems with speaking, swallowing, chewing, or even breathing. Before making your final decision, consider these possible complications:
1. Physical damage to gums or teeth: Many people click, chew, or bite piercings as a habit or simply because they are bulky and in the way. You can chip or scratch your teeth, injure your gums, or even damage fillings.
2. Infection or pain: Bacteria thrives in a warm, moist environment, which means your mouth is the perfect breeding ground. Any piercing carries the risk of infection, but especially lip, tongue, and other oral piercings. Get treated immediately, because swelling can quickly cut off airways.
3. Allergic reaction or sensitivity to metals: This can lead to pain, swelling, or infection.
4. Nerve damage. Numbness after a tongue piercing is common. While it is usually temporary, sometimes the nerve damage can be permanent and can alter your sense of taste.
5. Problems at your dental appointment. Piercings may get in the way of some routine dental care. For example, your dentist may not be able to take proper X-rays.
Tips for Proper Care If You Do Have Oral Piercings
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash, as alcohol can irritate the site.
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater after eating, drinking, or smoking. This helps soothe and cleanse the area.
- Avoid whitening toothpastes to reduce the risk of buildup and infection.
- Brush at least three times daily, and replace your toothbrush often.
- Visit your dentist every six months for routine care, and contact them immediately at the first sign of infection or pain.
For more information about oral health and how to care for your lip or tongue piercings, contact Fisher Pointe Dental today. We would be happy to schedule you for a routine visit or for emergency service.