Oral piercings are unfortunately still pretty popular amongst teenagers, but while they may think this looks attractive, the potential dental damage can be less than pretty. As a parent or caregiver you would probably be quite concerned if your child announced they wished to have an oral piercing and your concern is well-placed as there are a number of risks associated with oral piercings.
Possible Dental Damage with Oral Piercings
Damage to Teeth
If your teenager’s teeth are constantly coming into contact with their oral piercing then it can result in them becoming chipped or cracked (Learn more: Cracked Teeth Treatment). This can mean they will need good restorative dentistry, Cliffside Park, NJ to mend the dental damage, or if they fail to seek dental care then this may increase the risk of an infected tooth.
Damage to Gum Health
As well as damaging teeth, contact with an oral piercing can damage the gums, resulting in them becoming injured and receding. Gum recession increases the risk of tooth decay and even tooth loss. In addition, an oral piercing may increase the risk of gum disease, a condition that can cause tooth loss and which also affects general health.
How Piercings Can Ruin Your Smile
This is a real risk as any wound in the mouth will allow bacteria to get straight into the blood stream and cause general and dental damage. There is also the possibility of additional bacteria being introduced from handling or fiddling with the jewelry used in the piercing.
If an oral piercing isn’t carried out under hygiene conditions, then there is a risk of the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis B and C as well as the herpes simplex virus.
Oral Piercing Dangers and Risks
Sometimes the piercing besides dental damage may damage a nerve, resulting in loss of sensation or numbness, or even in loss of movement. This can be a particular problem for tongue piercings. Additionally, blood vessels can become damaged resulting in prolonged bleeding, and if tongue swelling occurs after a piercing then it could obstruct breathing or will even block the airway.
Metal Allergies and Swallowing or Inhaling Jewelry
A metal allergy can occur in anyone who might be susceptible and another complication may be caused by breathing in jewelry that has become loose. There is the potential it could become a choking hazard or if swallowed may cause damage to the lungs or digestive tract.
Lip and Tongue Piercing Safety Measures
As you may have gathered pediatric dentists and indeed all types of dentists are not at all keen on any type of oral piercing, but if your teenager still decides to go ahead then it’s wise to make sure they take a few essential precautions to prevent any type of dental damage. It’s highly likely that they will ask friends for their recommendations, but it’s also important to make sure the piercing studio is using the proper sterilization techniques and they should have all the necessary health certificates. Additionally, all the jewelry used during the piercing process should be kept in sterilized packaging and the staff members involved in the actual piercing must be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Any piercing studio that is reluctant to answer these basic questions should be avoided.