Oral piercings have become fashionable for some groups of society as a form of self expression or to make a statement. Whatever the reason to stand out from the crowd, not many people may have done their homework on the risks associated with oral piercings. Getting your tongue pierced should not be an impulsive decision or one done when you have had too much to drink.
The main risk associated with piercings is infection and transmission of HIV due to usage of unsterilized or improperly sterilized equipment. However, getting an experienced and skillful body piercing technician alone is not sufficient to ensure a problem-free experience. Even if the piercing is done successfully with a smooth healing and is infection free, not many people realize that oral piercings can affect their dental health.
The American Academy of General Dentistry has indicated that tongue piercing can result in chipped teeth, infections, nerve and gum damage, drooling, taste loss, and tooth loss.
Foreign objects (i.e. the jewelry) in the mouth can lead to more bacteria accumulating in the mouth. People with higher concentration of bacteria in their mouth may experience health related issues, such as cavities, bad breath, gum disease and heart disease.
Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
The constant rubbing of the tongue jewelry to the gums may result in receding gums. In the early stages, gum recession sufferers will experience teeth sensitivity, which if left untreated, can get worse and cause bone loss and loose teeth and ultimately, tooth loss.
Difficulties to Function Properly!
The oral piercing may also stimulate an excessive production of saliva. Some people may experience interference in their speech, and with a foreign object in the mouth, biting and chewing can be challenging. Temporary or permanent drooling is another consequence of increased saliva production. Sometimes, there are also possible changes in one’s sense of taste.
Chipped or Cracked Teeth
The oral ornaments come in regular contact with the teeth which may cause damage to the teeth in the long run. One study in a dental journal reported that 47% of people wearing barbell tongue jewelry for 4 or more years had at least one chipped tooth.
Ones should really think twice and thrice, before deciding to have an oral piercing. Consider the possible dental-related risks which oral piercing may cause. The last thing you want is to look uncool with unintelligent speech, bad breath, chipped front teeth or even missing teeth.
You can find more information on oral piercing from Cleveland clinic’s website.
Do you have any experiences to share about oral piercings?