Body piercing, along with tattooing, is a growing phenomenon among teenagers in today’s world. Sense of style, right from clothing, hairstyle, cosmetics to piercings all play an essential role in an individual’s personality. Body piercings are in high demand since ancient times. Oral piercings have gained popularity in the 21st century as a style statement and a way to self-express. However, these oral piercings can prove to be detrimental to individuals’ health as they can pose several risks to their healthy teeth and gums.
Oral piercings consist of numerous types of piercings, including lip piercing, tongue piercing, cheek piercing, etc. Each of them carries considerable risk to a person’s oral health. Tongue and lips are the most common areas. The human mouth is a moist environment and is an ideal breeding ground for many kinds of bacteria. Bacterial infections can be life-threatening as they can lead to swelling of the tongue and ultimately blocking the airway, making breathing difficult. Oral piercings may also interfere with speech, swallowing, or chewing and can cause infection, pain, and swelling.
Biting or playing with these piercings is a common habit among the piercers, which may cause chipped or cracked teeth that could extend to a root canal, damaged fillings, and injuries to lips, tongue, and gum tissues. Tongue piercings can also cause temporary or permanent nerve damage causing numbness in the tongue, affecting taste, speech, and chewing.
Piercings can produce a lot of drool as it activates salivary glands and tricks them into working overtime. Piercings can wear gum tissues by friction and expose the roots of the teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay. Allergic reactions at the site of piercing is also a possible outcome. The risks are even greater for orthodontic patients, as a piercing can get entangled with orthodontic hardware in no time.
How to take proper care for a piercing? Well, the good idea is to be properly informed about the risks involved in piercings. It is important to have effective ways to manage these risks like keeping the piercing site clean, avoiding the clicking of the piercings against the teeth, assuring the tightness of the piercings to avoid choking, etc. However, not getting the body pierced altogether or removing the piercings should always be on top priority.
Oral piercings introduce a lot of unnecessary risks and are hazardous to the overall health of a person having body piercings. For proper maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, practice basic oral hygiene, and strictly adhere to the procedures of brushing and flossing twice daily. To learn more about piercings’ impact on oral health and its risk minimization, give us a call or drop into our clinic!