Can Oral Piercings Affect My Dental Health?

Can Oral Piercings Affect My Dental Health?

The answer to this question is yes! Oral piercings have lots of potential to damage your oral health. Just like any other body modification, we believe it’s important for our patients to be well informed of the negative effects before committing to a piercing.

Our Longmont, Colorado dentist has put together a list of a few ways oral piercings can negatively affect your dental health:

  • Infection – This is perhaps the most common risk associated with any piercing, especially one near your mouth. This is because your mouth is a damp environment, which allows bacteria to reproduce rapidly. If your infection goes untreated for too long, it can eventually become life threatening.
  • Gum Disease – Oral piercings can increase your chances of gum disease significantly. If the jewelry comes in contact with your gums, it can damage them or cause them to recede. Gum disease will loosen the teeth and may lead to losing teeth completely.
  • Tooth Damage – Many people develop the bad habit of chewing on or biting their jewelry. This can cause the teeth to chip, scratch, or break. Surface cracks can be repaired with a filling, but if the crack goes all the way down to the roots, your tooth may need to be extracted.
  • Nerve Damage – If done incorrectly, some oral piercings may cause nerve damage, leading to numbness and loss of sensation in the mouth. This is often temporary but can sometimes be permanent.
  • Excess Saliva – Anytime a foreign object is in the mouth, saliva production increases. When your oral piercing becomes a permanent feature, this means the mouth will stimulate an excess production of saliva all the time. This is not only unpleasant, but can cause difficulty in speaking, chewing and eating.

If you choose to get an oral piercing, please be sure to brush your jewelry at least once a day. In addition, you should rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily in order to lessen the bacteria around the piercing. Please remove your jewelry before your dental appointment, as it can block our X-Rays.

For more information on maintaining good oral hygiene, or to make an appointment with our skilled dentist, Dr. Renee Shepard, please contact Longmont Dental & Orthodontics today!

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