a dentists perspective protecting your teeth from oral piercings 5edf9f0d23695

A Dentist’s Perspective: Protecting Your Teeth From Oral Piercings

person with a tongue piercing

People get body piercings as a form of self-expression or even as a way to prevent migraines. If you have ones in your mouth, you may experience side-effects or complications that can have a negative impact on your oral and overall health. Not to mention, the friction from piercings against your teeth could result in an unexpected visit to your emergency dentist. Read on to learn about possible effects of oral piercings and how you can keep your mouth healthy if you already have one.


Possible Complications of Oral Piercings

There are a variety of oral piercings that you could get, including ones in your uvula, the floor of mouth, upper frenulum, gums, tongue, and many more. While they may seem aesthetically pleasing, some people don’t consider the possible impact that they can have on their oral health, especially if a complication or side-effect occurs. It can interfere with your ability to chew, swallow, and even speak. It can also result in:

  • Infection, which causes pain and
    swelling. Because your mouth is so moist, it’s the perfect place for bacteria
    to grow, and consequently, infections to occur. An oral piercing can also cause
    your tongue to swell up, which could result in your airway becoming blocked.
  • Damage to your gums, teeth, and restorations.
    Some people develop a habit of biting or playing with their piercing in their
    mouth. This can result in irritating or injuring oral tissues or even damaging
  • Allergic reactions to metal could occur.
  • Excessive salivation caused by a tongue
  • Difficulties taking dental X-rays because
    jewelry can obstruct the image.

The American Dental Association recommends immediately
visiting your dentist or physician if you experience any kind of pain or swelling
following your piercing. You may also experience fever, chills, or shaking. The
infection could spread to other areas of your mouth, affecting the health of
your teeth and gums.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy With Oral Piercings

If you already have piercings, there are certain preventive
measures you can take to help preserve your oral health. Be sure to:

  • Keep the area where your piercing is located
    clean and free of food debris that could attract harmful oral bacteria, causing
  • If possible, try keeping your jewelry from rubbing
    or coming into contact with your teeth. Also, be mindful of the location and
    movement of the piercing when you’re speaking and chewing to prevent accidents.
  • Make sure the piercing is securely attached so
    you don’t accidentally swallow or choke on it.

If you have an oral piercing, it could create a well-hidden
hideout for harmful oral bacteria and food debris to accumulate, which increases
your risk of developing gum disease or cavities. Just be sure to brush twice
each day, floss, and visit your dentist
every six months
to ensure that the piercing isn’t harming the rest of your

About the Author

Dr. Wayne Myles has always been passionate about providing patients with high-quality care they need. He focuses on giving trustworthy, thorough, and reliable preventive dental care, allowing him to tackle small oral health problems before they have a chance to progress. He completed the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies curriculum and is highly versed in a wide variety of treatments. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning to make sure your piercing isn’t damaging your -teeth, visit Smiles by Myles’ website or call 703-925-0800.

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