Are Oral Piercings Safe?

December 10, 2013 | Posted in Education

Are oral piercings really any different from piercing your ears?  What do you say if your teenager asks you what you think? What exactly are they and what are the risks?
 
Most commonly oral piercings consist of a barbell through the tongue or labret between the lower lip and chin.  Other areas could include the uvula, the lips and the cheeks.  The jewellery can be made of stainless steel, gold, plastic and titanium.
 
The most obvious problem with oral piercings is infections.  Our mouth is full of bacteria.  Piercings through the tongue or floor of the mouth are at higher risk for infection.  There is also the potential for muscle and nerve damage.  Chipped teeth are commonly see with tongue piercings and gum recession are frequent with labrets.
 
What can you do to avoid these complications?  Research the facility doing the piercing to ensure infection control.  Disinfect your jewellery regularly.  Don’t play with it in your mouth.  Make sure that the jewellery is made of plastic to protect the teeth from chipping.  Seek medical attention immediately if you experience swelling, bleeding or pain.
 
Schedule your appointment with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre to monitor any damage to teeth and gums.  Call us at 613-230-7475.