Body piercings are a popular form of individual expression. However, what most people don’t know is that any oral piercings – whether placed on the tongue, cheek or lips – involves a greater risk of infections than piercings placed anywhere else on the body. The side effects of oral piercings go further than just malocclusion – the imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed. Side effects of oral piercings include:
Your mouth contain millions of bacteria that grow at a rapid pace. The bacteria can cause an infection in your mouth after the placement of an oral piercing. The infection may also cause odour to develop in your mouth.
Damage to teeth
Jewellery can fracture teeth and cause tooth loss. Oral jewellery can also damage crowns and fillings.
Pain and swelling
A common side effect of an oral piercing is the pain and swelling. In severe cases, a piercing can cause a tongue to swell up and close off the airway, restricting your ability to breathe. This could cause fear, panic and even death.
Interferes with the proper function of your mouth
Oral jewellery not only increases the production of saliva, but the jewellery can also get in the way when you speak and chew, interfering with your ability to eat healthily.
Injury to the oral mucosa
The metal parts of oral jewellery can hurt the gum tissue and cause gum recession. This can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and periodontitis that leads to tooth loss.
If you already have an oral piercing, the best way to avoid problems is by having immaculate oral hygiene routines. Clean your mouth after every meal, remove the jewellery when you brush your teeth, avoid biting the jewellery as this could cause fractures in the teeth, and DO NOT play with, or touch, the jewellery between as this habit can increase the risk of trauma and infection to the mucosa.
For more information on how to maintain immaculate oral health, contact a dentist in Cape Town.