What are Oral Piercings?
Oral piercings are any form of body modification around the mouth. This includes piercing the tongue, cheeks, lips, and uvula, and cutting the tongue. It’s a form of self-expression that has grown in popularity over the years.
What are the Risks of Oral Piercings?
Now, while oral piercings may look pretty rad, they actually come with a lot of work. Your mouth is home to all sorts of bacteria in large quantities, and they’d be more than happy to swarm into your piercing site and cause an infection. If there isn’t any proper aftercare, or if an infection is not treated promptly, you face serious, life-threatening infections like endocarditis—that’s when bacteria enter your bloodstream and start attacking your heart.
Damage to the Gums, Teeth, and Tongue
Piercings are pretty sharp. If you move a heavy tongue piercing around a lot, for example, you can bang that metal against your teeth and gums and cause damage. Cheek piercings, on the other hand, while mostly immobile, can get caught up in your tongue and pierce it. You could end up with more piercings than you asked for if you’re not careful!
If you’re sensitive to metals like nickel, you can develop an allergic reaction to your piercing. To be on the safe side, go for hypoallergenic, nickel-free earrings.
Your tongue’s nerves could go temporarily numb after a piercing, but sometimes it could be permanent. It can affect your sense of taste, and how you talk and move your tongue afterward.
Piercings in the tongue, in particular, encourage saliva production. This can lead to excessive drooling and chapped lips, which is bad news for anyone with social anxiety.
Hassle and Difficulties
When you get a dental x-ray, piercings can block your dentist from getting a good look at your teeth. As such, you need to remove them before x-rays.
How Do You Take Care of Your Dental Health with Oral Piercings?
There are several ways you can prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Most of these involve proper hygiene for both parents and little ones, proper brushing habits, and proper feeding habits.
1️⃣ If you see any signs of infection (e.g., swelling, pain, bleeding, fever, chills), then contact your dentist or physician as early as possible. They can give you advice, remedies, and medications.
2️⃣ Keep the piercing site clean and free of food as much as possible, especially sugary foods! This will just invite more bacteria. Rinse with some mouthwash after every meal.
3️⃣ Be gentle with your piercing, it needs to heal. Avoid brushing your tongue against the piercing and moving it around. If you have a tongue piercing, avoid hitting it against your teeth as it can both damage the teeth and cause pain. Lastly, be mindful of the piercing when you’re eating, talking, and brushing your teeth.
4️⃣Feel the tightness of your piercing with clean hands once in a while. If it’s too tight, it can cut off blood circulation and swell. If it’s too loose, it can come off and become a choking hazard.
5️⃣ Remove oral piercings when doing anything active, like aerobic exercises. If playing sports, wear a mouth guard too.
6️⃣ Follow standard dental hygiene practices like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and making regular trips to the dentist.
Oral piercings are a huge responsibility, so don’t just get any area of your mouth pierced willy-nilly. Your mouth is the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause infections and life-threatening conditions. It’s also easy to injure other areas of your mouth if you’re not careful about your piercings.
As always, practice proper dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and gargling daily. Also, visit your dentist twice a year so they can not only look at your piercings but also make sure the rest of your mouth is A-OK.