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We all have different ways to express ourselves. Many people enjoy the idea of getting piercings, and – aside from the ears – one of the most popular places to get a piercing is in or near the mouth.

Oral piercings can be a fun way to show off your individuality. But, perhaps not surprisingly, they do come with a little bit of risk, especially when it comes to your oral health.

Different Piercings, Different Risks

Any piercing that requires going inside of your mouth is going to carry at least some risks for your oral health. But the type of piercing and where it is located can affect these risks. Some of the most common types of oral piercings include:

  • Tongue Piercings
  • Lip Piercings
  • Cheek Piercings

Of these piercings, tongue piercings are going to be the most likely to cause oral healthcare issues. They are right inside of your mouth and come into contact with a lot of food. But all piercings that are inside of your mouth may lead to some issues.

Risks for All Piercings Increased

All piercings – whether they’re in your mouth, your ear, or your belly button – carry the risk of issues like infection, pain, and bleeding. But these risks can be even greater with oral piercings. That is because the saliva in the mouth keeps these piercings moist, making them more likely to attract bacteria. Also, prolonged contact with food and other contaminants can negatively affect the healing process.

It is important to know yourself before you decide to get an oral piercing. If you’re someone that has a hard time keeping up with safety protocols, that is likely to lead to a big problem with your oral piercing. Only consider this type of piercing if you plan to take care of it every day.

Risks to Dental Health from Oral Piercings

As dentists, we are primarily concerned with the health of your mouth. While we encourage you to express your individuality, there are some specific challenges to be aware of if you plan to have one of these piercings. Some of the risks that you should be aware of include:

  • Cut or Damaged Gums – Piercings to your cheek and lips can introduce rough and sharp “objects” into your mouth. These can lead to cuts in your teeth and gums. Make sure that your piercing is placed in a way that it is less likely to cut teeth, and that you choose a piercing that is round or soft.
  • Watch for Stuck Food – Food can easily get stuck in a piercing. In addition to infection risk, that food can eventually make its way to your teeth and gums. Make sure that you’re cleaning it safely and often to keep it free of debris.
  • Pay Attention to Your Chewing/Breathing Habits – Your mouth is designed to chew, breath, swallow, and talk in specific ways. It may not seem like it, but if your piercing changes how you perform your standard oral tasks (ie, causing you to breathe more through your mouth), it can damage enamel, affect bite quality, and much more.

These are only a few of the challenges that are introduced by these types of piercings, which is why it is so important to make sure that you’re aware of them and taking special care to address them.

Here at Dental Concepts and Orthodontics, our team is happy to help you make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy after a piercing. Contact us for dental care in Salinas, today. 831-443-3633