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Facial piercings, in the lip or on the tongue, are popular in some fashion circles, and if you have been wanting to make a fashion statement with your smile by getting an oral piercing, it’s important to know that there are possible health risks involved.  It is not as harmless as an ear piercing, for example, which has minor risks.

By nature, the mouth is a haven for of colonies of bacteria, and some of them pretty bad (like the kind that cause tooth decay and gum disease), making the mouth a haven for germ production. This makes open wounds (in the form of a piercing) more of a safety risk, no matter if you are choosing to wear a ring, stud, or barbell.

Your mouth is by nature home to colonies of bacteria, and some of them pretty bad (like the kind that cause tooth decay and gum disease), making the mouth a haven for germ production. This makes open wounds (in the form of a piercing) more of a safety risk, no matter if you are choosing to wear a ring, stud, or barbell.

Risks with Oral Piercings

Nerve damage

Sometimes after a piercing the tongue becomes numb from nerve damage. Usually this numbness is temporary, but it can sometimes be permanent. If this happens, your taste buds may be different, and it can also how your move your mouth. In addition, if there is damage to the blood vessels in your mouth you can lose a lot of blood.

Bacterial infection

The mouth is a veritable breeding ground for bacteria, making it susceptible to infection. If infections are not properly treated they can become life threatening. Also, if the tongue becomes swollen as a reaction to a piercing, it can block your airway.

Oral damage

Some people like to play with their piercings while wearing them. This habit, of using the tongue to tap the piercing, or biting it, can injure the gums and even crack or scratch sensitive teeth. Also, oral piercings can damage dental fillings.

Metal hypersensitivity

Some people experience allergic reactions from the metal used in piercing jewelry.

So, although oral piercings make a fun fashion statement, they can be harmful to your smile. If you decide to move forward with a piercing, vet your piercing studio of choice carefully. Determine whether or not they are certified, how seriously they take sanitation, and that they take your oral health seriously.

As always, we want to help you have a healthy smile, not just a fashionable one! If you have any concerns, we invite you to visit with Dr. David A. Browne, please call our dedicated dental team in McHenry, Illinois at 815-344-6811 today.