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Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

Oral piercings, such as piercing the lips or tongue, have become very popular. Unfortunately, many people who choose this type of piercing are not aware of the long-term health risks associated with the procedure. An oral piercing can compromise your dental health and lead to other issues, some of which can be serious.

Risk of Infection

One of the most common risks of an oral piercing is infection. A large quantity of bacteria normally exists in the mouth, which makes it more likely that a wound in the mouth will become infected than a wound in other parts of the body. In addition, food particles can become lodged around the jewelry, leading to an even higher concentration of bacteria. Infection in the mouth can be serious and can spread to cause gum disease, dental decay or even problems throughout the body. Oral infections have been connected to inflammation in the cardiovascular system, which can lead to heart disease. 

An oral piercing can compromise your dental health and lead to other issues, some of which can be serious.

It’s also very important to be sure the establishment performing the procedure is clean and safe. Like tattoos, piercings bring with them a risk of blood-borne infections like hepatitis. In addition, there is always a risk of accidentally damaging a blood vessel in the tongue, leading to excessive bleeding. Some people experience extensive scarring after oral piercings, or prove to be allergic to the metal of their jewelry.

Risk of Tooth Damage

Another major risk of an oral piercing is damage to the teeth and gums. Metal jewelry can injure the gums and chip the teeth. A large number of people with oral piercings have suffered chipped teeth. Less dramatically but still causing serious damage is wear on the backs of the teeth due to contact with the jewelry. This can severely weaken the teeth, eventually leading to extensive damage or even tooth loss.

Before you decide on an oral piercing, please discuss the risks and possible side effects with our dental team. Contact our Irving office to learn more.

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