Tongue and lip piercings may be a hot trend right now, but if you choose to take part in the fad, you may be compromising your oral health.
Oral piercings pose a number of dental risks. Patients who are considering them should ask themselves whether such a piercing is worth the potential long-term consequences.
Offering the kind of warm, moist environment in which bacteria thrive, the mouth has all of the necessary ingredients for an infection to take hold. Throw in an oral piercing, which creates an opening for bacteria to enter the tongue or skin, and the chances increase significantly.
Oral piercings pose a number of dental risks.
If you do develop an infection, you will have to seek further medical treatment and you may have to allow the piercing to close, as well.
The infection may not be confined to the mouth, either. Oral infections can spread throughout the body, leading to dangerous conditions like endocarditis or even sepsis. When infections that originate in the mouth travel elsewhere in the body, it can be more challenging to contain and eliminate them.
To avoid such outcomes, patients who do decide to pursue oral piercings should closely monitor the site for signs and symptoms of infection, such as swelling, redness or a yellow or green discharge. When such symptoms appear, patients should visit a dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
Similarly, patients with oral piercings have a higher risk of developing gum disease, particularly if they wear barbell-type jewelry. That barbell can repeatedly irritate the gum, creating inflammation.
Oral piercings may also damage teeth if the jewelry frequently comes into contact with the teeth. The piercing procedure can also lead to nerve damage in the tongue or lip.
If you’re considering an oral piercing, talk to your dentist before moving forward to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the potential hazards. If you still decide to get an oral piercing, a dental professional can make aftercare recommendations to reduce your risk of infection.
For more information, contact the Thornton dental practice of Dr. Alan Gurman today.
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