If you’ve done any research into the whole debate as to the safety or otherwise of oral piercings, you’ll probably have come across an abundance of contradictory information. The reason being that while facts are facts, most people prefer to share their opinions on the subject. Needless to say, quite a lot of people completely oppose oral piercings, while just as many think they are no less than fantastic.
In this instance therefore, we’re going to push personal opinions and preferences entirely to one side. To shine a little light on the truth regarding lip and tongue piercings and the subject of oral health, we’ll instead be focusing purely on the facts.
The all-important question being – do piercings like these have a genuinely detrimental effect on oral health? Assuming your oral hygiene regime is pretty strong and consistent, do you really have anything to worry about?
Infection and Irritation Risk
The short answer to the question, yes…oral piercings have the potential to increase the likelihood of a variety of oral health issues. The reason being that when you have your tongue or your lips pierced, you introduce foreign objects into your mouth that will inevitably rub on your teeth and gums on a relatively constant basis.
The extent to which oral jewellery irritates your teeth and gums will be determined by the type of jewellery you choose, the shape of your mouth and a variety of other factors. In all instances however, this abrasive action has the potential to gradually wear away the enamel on your teeth, weakening their protection from everyday attacks and increasing the likelihood of breakages and cavities. Even if you aren’t aware of your piercings coming into contact with your teeth and gums, it could be happening while you sleep.
Speaking of which, oral piercings that rub on the gums can potentially increase the likelihood of gum recession. This is a condition where the gums gradually move away from the tooth and expose the root, making it easier for bacteria to build up and result in both damage and infection. Keeping things clean with the very best electric toothbrush recommended by dentistscan certainly help, but will not prevent or reverse gum recession caused by oral piercings.
Should your oral piercings cause any cuts, scratches, abrasions or ulcers in your mouth, this likewise increases the likelihood of infection. Particularly in instances where the jewellery itself is not kept hygienically clean at all times.
Chipped and Broken Teeth
Another potential risk that accompanies oral piercings is the increased likelihood of chipped or broken teeth. When you have a metallic object in your mouth, the kind of shock or impact that would normally cause minimal damage can be exacerbated by the piercing. For example, if you have a piece of jewellery in your lip that comes into contact with your teeth, any kind of accidental knock could severely damage your tooth or even knock it out.
Of course, some would argue that the likelihood of this happening is minimal, which is technically true. Nevertheless, oral piercings can and often do exacerbate problems caused by accidents and unforeseen events, which may otherwise have caused no real problems whatsoever.
The Importance of Meticulous Hygiene
Most of the guidelines regarding proper care and maintenance for oral piercings are common sense in nature. If possible, piercings should be removed when eating an should alwaysbe removed while sleeping. In addition, it is advisable to remove piercings when taking part in any kind of strenuous activity or exercise, along with every morning and evening while brushing your teeth.
In terms of oral hygiene in general, the best way of avoiding problems attributed to infection and bacteria build up is to keep your mouth hygienically clean at all times. Always remember that along with your usual oral hygiene regime, you need to think about the food debris and bacteria that may accumulate in and around your piercings throughout the day. As it’s impractical to brush your teeth multiple times a day, it’s a good idea to keep some antibacterial/antiseptic mouthwashwith you, to be used periodically after eating and drinking.
Chewing gum can also be a good way of boosting your mouth’s natural defences, but only if the chewing action doesn’t result in your piercings unnecessarily irritating your teeth and gums.
Before Going Ahead
If you decide to go ahead and have one or more oral piercings, it’s critically important to ensure that you entrust a responsible and reputable professional with the job. The quality of the services they provide could make a big difference to the on-going safety, comfort and hygiene of the piercing you receive.
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to only ever trust piercers who are more than willing to answer your questions and discuss general health and hygiene issues out in the open. They should be willing to provide you with honest and open advice, rather than avoiding the subject when brought up. In addition, only ever allow yourself to be pierced with a brand-new needle from a sealed container that has never been used before. In terms of the jewellery you choose, always select premium quality jewellery made from surgical steel, solid gold or platinum. Anything else could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Last but not least, if things ever become excessively uncomfortable or painful while wearing your chosen jewellery, don’t make the mistake of ignoring it. While there will always be some residual pain and discomfort following the piercing itself, this should subside relatively quickly. If your piercings are irritating your teeth, gums and lips excessively all for a prolonged period of time, you could be looking at a more serious issue.
If in doubt, book an appointment with your doctor or dentist for a simple check-up.