How does oral piercing effect the health of your teeth?

To pierce or not to pierce?

The days have long gone when ear piercing was enough of a form of ‘decoration’. This kind of self expression has seen people piercing parts of their body you never thought possible. Along with the nose and belly button, the tongue is one of the most common areas to be pierced.

Whether the piercing is carried out correctly or incorrectly it may still cause problems with your tongue, teeth and gums.  No one knows how your tongue will react to having a bar put through it until you have it done.  The mouth contains millions of thriving bacteria which, after having your tongue pierced, may cause the an infection or the tongue to swell.  Records show that on some occasions the tongue has swelled to the point where it has closed off the airway posing a major risk to your life.

Other problems associated with oral piercings

These include:

  • Choking – if part of the tongue bar breaks you may choke.
  • Broken teeth – you may accidently bite down on the tongue bar possibly fracturing a tooth.
  • Sensitivity – constant rubbing of the bar against the back of your teeth can cause the gum to wear away exposing the root causing sensitivity.  The tongue bar can also wear away the tooth enamel exposing the dentine, which again causes sensitivity.
  • Allergies – you may be unaware that you have a metal allergy and may experience a reaction to the tongue bar.
  • Excess Saliva – when you have a foreign object in your mouth you automatically create more saliva.  You might start to drool or find yourself slurping.

One of the most perilous problems is possible nerve damage.  Usually after having a tongue piercing you experience temporary numbness to the tongue.  This is because of the damage to the nerve when piercing the tongue.  On occasions the numbness can become permanent effecting your sense of taste, pronunciation of words and letters and how you move your mouth.

When considering any type of piercing always consider any possible problems you may encounter.  If you are thinking about having an oral piercing speak to your dentist.  It is likely they will advise against it but they will give you all the information you need to help you make the right decision.  Make sure whoever does the piercing for you is reputable and clean and informs you on how to minimise the risk of infection.

If your looking for advice or have some dental questions you would like answered give us a call.  We will be more than happy to help.

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