Body piercings have been considered a way to express yourself for many decades, even the ancient Egyptians had pierced earlobes. What you may not realize, however, is that lip and tongue piercings are not a recent trend either. In fact, a mummy was recently discovered from the Ancient African civilization of a man who had a lip piercing and lived 12,000 years ago! While oral piercings may not be a new phenomenon, they are still just as dangerous as they were thousands of years ago – especially in the eyes of your dentist.
Oral piercings can involve lip rings, tongue bars and any type of metal or jewelry pierced through the tissues of the mouth. These are a cosmetic statement of style with serious risks to your dental health and dental function.
Here are some notable drawbacks you should be aware of before you commit to an oral piercing of any kind:
Infection and Disease
It would take extraordinary efforts of cleaning and sanitizing to prevent your oral piercing from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Excess oral bacteria leads to a host of dental health issues, including painful infection. Discomfort and swelling are signs of an oral infection, and it can be life-threatening if it is not addressed. In addition, the National Institute of Health identified oral piercings as a possible factor in the transmission of hepatitis.
You may not know you have a metal allergy until you get an oral piercing. Unfortunately, the allergic response in this scenario can be quick and severe. If the anaphylactic reaction involves tongue swelling, it can block your airway and restrict breathing.
Speech, Swallowing and Chewing Limitations
Don’t dismiss the large possibility that your piercing of your tongue, lips or uvula will interfere with speech, your ability to chew properly and your normal swallowing motions. These are everyday dental functions that can be drastically impeded.
Bad Breath and Drooling
Who wants to be known as the one with bad breath or the person that drools excessively? Foreign objects in the mouth tend to increase your body’s natural saliva production, so this is a real possibility. In addition, the extra bacteria that may linger around your oral jewelry can contribute to foul breath odor.
Your teeth weren’t designed to interact with metal jewelry on a constant basis. If your oral piercing frequently comes in contact with your teeth or dental work, there is a high chance of future damage. Keep in mind that chipped tooth repair or broken crowns/fillings can be expensive – is this worth your fashion statement?
At Southern Oaks Family Dental, we educate patients the risks of harmful oral habits, which can most certainly include lip and tongue piercings. If your oral piercing has already caused threats to your dental health, please give us a call!
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8670 Airline Hwy Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Phone: (225) 307-3275
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