Thoughts On Oral Piercings And Your Oral Health

oral piercings

People love to express themselves and show their personalities in so many different ways. From the clothing they wear, to how they fashion their hair, to the piercings they have – there are multiple ways to show off your style nowadays.

One of the most popular forms of self-expression is related to piercings. Decades ago, one of the only ways to get pierced was in the ears. That has become not only commonplace but in fact a relic of the past as now people can be pierced on their eyebrow, their nose, their belly buttons and all over. The piercing industry has exploded over the last generation and now it is not uncommon to see someone with multiple piercings in every section of their body.

It is great that people are able to look the way they want and feel comfortable with new and different forms of piercing. Self expression is never a bad thing! But how do some forms of piercings affect orthodontic care? How should you handle oral piercings and what sort of affect might they have on your mouth? Are they healthy or do they pose more challenges than they are worth?

The truth is that there are substantial risks that could arise because of oral piercings and it can be difficult to avoid some of them. It is best to sit down with your orthodontist and have a long, frank discussion with them before your purchase and implant any sort of oral piercing. Your orthodontist will not forbid you from getting a piercing, it is your choice after all. But they will tell you honestly and plainly the issues that may arise.

What are some of the most common complications related to oral piercings? Perhaps the most prominent one would be infection. You might not know it but your mouth is filled with literally zillions of bacteria and they can pose a serious risk to your mouth after and because of an oral piercing. A piercing in the wrong place at the wrong time can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which will multiple again and again and create an infection that can spread and cause complete havoc in your mouth. While oral infections are much easier to address and cure now, they are still often painful, annoying, and can pose a risk to spread and become severe.

One of the most serious infection that can be created by an oral piercing is Endocarditis. This occurs when the infection starts at the point of piercing and then can enter the bloodstream of your body and travel all over, including to your heart. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart valves and tissues. As you can imagine, it can be a very dangerous, painful, and life-threatening issue.

What about blood-borne diseases? Did you know you stand a risk of contracting those when you receive an oral piercing. It’s true, studies have shown that transmitting Hepatitis B,C,D, and G is much easier through a piercing in the mouth. This would become a problem much larger than an oral health problem. Any of those strains of Hepatitis could become a serious and debilitating condition that could greatly harm your life. And there are other, even more severe blood-borne diseases you can catch if your oral piercing is done 100% correctly. There is a lot riding on getting it done right. Again, it is worth asking if the piercing is worth the possible risks. 

One of the most painful risks you run when you get an oral piercing is the possibility of chipping or cracking a tooth or teeth. Many oral piercing are made of heavy-duty, resilient metal that is built to withstand all sorts of damage. They are reliably strong, strong piercings. Of course that means that they are capable of doing some damage too. Your teeth don’t really stand a chance against some of these piercings. They can chip a tooth or shatter one outright. It doesn’t take much. Just one minor accident can result in your smile being permanently altered.

You can also receive injuries to your gums and other parts of your mouth thanks to an oral piercing. They can hurt your tongue, your jawbones, your lips. The ability of a piercing to wreak havoc on any and all parts of your mouth is strong. While you may love the way your piercing looks, you will not love the trauma it can cause. Additionally, an oral piercing can impair your ability to talk, eat, swallow and function normally. Also, jewelry in the mouth sometimes creates excessive saliva too, meaning your mouth could be changed in some surprising and uncomfortable ways.

As you can see, there are many risks associated with oral piercings. It is undeniable that you are putting yourself at risk if you choose to get one. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, the choice is ultimately more. However, it is smart to speak with your doctor about any and all orthodontic care needed if any of these issues we spoke of arise. Our office isn’t filled with just Philadelphia braces experts, we can handle all problems related to oral health and orthodontics, including anything that can be caused by oral piercings. With a proper treatment plan, professional and knowledgeable care, we can tackle any conditions or problems you may encounter. Best of all, we can schedule a virtual orthodontic exam so you can receive our expert opinions from the comfort and safety of your own home.

There is no reason to not be prepared and aware of the risks related to oral piercings. You should be given the best information before you make your final decision and pursue a piercing. The risks listed can be far less dangerous and plausible if you are aware of them and take the proper precautions. Before you make any choice, you should sit down with your orthodontic team, hear all the facts, weigh your options and then make your choice. We are here to help keep you happy, healthy, and safe.

We look forward to connecting with you there!