By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
What Are Oral Piercings?
Oral piercings use a needle to add a hole and jewelry to the mouth. Oral piercings can be inside the mouth, known as intraoral, or outside your mouth, known as perioral. This includes piercings in the:
- Uvula, which is the tissue that hangs at the back of your throat
- Frenum, which is the tissue that connects your lips to your gums and your tongue to the floor of your mouth
Risks of Oral Piercings
Oral piercings are a common way for people to express themselves. Unlike piercings in other parts of the body, however, oral piercings come with a host of complications because of the sensitive nature of the mouth.
Piercing any part of your mouth is riskier than piercing other parts of the body. Throughout the day, oral piercings touch your teeth and gum tissue, which each contain millions of bacteria. As a result, the risk of infection is higher.
Oral piercings can interfere with talking, chewing, and swallowing. Even if those interruptions don’t bother you, oral piercings can cause of range of mouth damage, including:
- Excessive drooling
- Trouble talking or breathing
- Infection, pain, and swelling
- Damage to the gums, teeth, and fillings
- Allergic reactions
- Nerve damage
- Excessive bleeding
- Challenges during dentist appointments
- Blood-borne diseases
Taking Care of an Oral Piercing If You Already Have One
While we understand piercings are becoming more common, at Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe it is much safer to consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem and don’t pierce on a whim – the piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep.
If you already have an oral piercing, one of the best ways to prevent an oral infection is by consistently taking care of your mouth. Keep your piercing clean by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Avoid clicking your oral jewelry against your teeth, which can chip or crack them or cause your teeth to become loose.
Finally, it’s also important to take oral piercings out when you play sports, and remember to wear a mouthguard.
When to See Help for an Oral Piercing
Because of the increased risk of infection, it’s important to visit us at Eggert Family Dentistry regularly. And if you notice any signs of infection – such redness, swelling, discharge, smell, rash, fever, or excessive bleeding – it’s important to contact us as soon as possible. Contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff if you’re concerned that your oral piercing may be infected. Call our office at 651-482-8412 to schedule your appointment.