As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold.” This rests particularly true for oral piercings. Oral piercings are piercings that include the use of studs or hoops in the tongue, cheeks and lips. Unfortunately, such piercings are becoming more and more popular; the young population is particularly prone to this fad, and remains unaware of the disastrous effects such piercing can have on a person’s dental health.
Many dental associations vehemently oppose the practice of oral piercing; by virtue of the complications they can give rise to. The piercing procedures are usually done without anesthesia. With tongue piercing, a needle is used to pierce a hole in the flesh, and then a barbell-shaped stud is put through the hole so that it gets exposed on the other end. It is then screwed shut from this end. In lips and cheeks piercing, a cork is placed inside the mouth, while a needle is used to pierce a hole into the skin and tissue. A stud or a hoop is then placed inside the hole, and a backing material is screwed in from the other end.
Common effects experienced after oral piercing include pain, swelling at the site as well as in gums, redness, infection, and an increased production of saliva. In addition, the backing material in the case of lips and cheeks piercings and the stud itself in the case of a lip piercing, can chafe across the inner surfaces of the mouth. The resulting friction can cause blisters and even more serious infections. Bacteria can enter the mouth and thereby increase the individual’s risk of tooth decay. Side effects can also get very serious. Excessive bleeding can occur, the jewelry can get swallowed and block the windpipe, speech impediment can occur, and the formation of scar tissue can arise. Worst of all, people with oral piercings can also contract hepatitis.
To avoid the aforementioned complications, one must avoid getting oral piercings. If there is no way to avoid such piercings, take measures to ensure that the tools used are clean and sterilized. Use a new needle, and after the piercing, take antibiotics and also make sure that the site of the piercing is kept clean and safe from infections. If you do end up getting an oral piercing, you must see your dentist regularly to make sure there is no risk of infection or trauma to your gums or teeth.