Many people get tongue, lip, or cheek piercings as a means to express themselves. However, despite the jewelry looking cool, they can negatively affect your health. Before you head off to be pierced, be sure you are aware of the risks:
- Speech, chewing or swallowing difficulties: An oral piercing creates an obstacle to your mouth’s natural form and shape. By adding hardware to your mouth, you are creating a potential impediment for you to naturally use your mouth as intended.
- Infection, swelling, and pain: Mouths are a natural breeding ground for bacteria. Holes created by oral piercings become an ideal place for infection. Not treated quickly, an infection can be life threatening and swelling on its own can potentially block your airway.
- Damage to teeth and fillings: Playing with your mouth’s jewelry with your tongue or accidentally biting down on it can lead to cracked teeth and fillings. These are costly to repair and can create other issues if not dealt with.
- Nerve damage: People often experience a numb tongue after a tongue piercing. Often, this is temporary. However, some people have had permanent damage which can affect how much you move your mouth and affect your sense of taste.
- Dental appointment difficulties: Metal jewelry in your face or inside your mouth can get in the way of dental cleanings and block x-rays.
- Allergic reaction to metals: If you have an unknown allergy to the type of metal of your oral jewelry, you can experience allergic reactions at the site of the pierce.
- Drooling: Tongue piercings can create more saliva to the point that wearers of tongue jewelry can have excessive drool. So much for looking cool!
While oral piercings may enhance your self-expression, there are many reasons health reasons that they should be avoided. Prior to visiting your local piercing parlor, we highly recommend you review the benefits versus disadvantages of oral piercings so you can make the decision that is right for you. If you already have oral piercings and are concerned about how to properly take care of your mouth, please schedule a consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon.