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What You Need To Know About Oral Piercings

Before you receive any type of piercing or body modification, it’s important that you’re as well informed as possible about any possible risks. More specifically, if you’re interested in getting an oral piercing, there are a few things we here at Coastal Periodontics think that you should know before you make that decision.

Some of the health risks involved with oral piercings include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Gum damage
  • Loss of taste
  • Infection
  • Tooth loss

Infection would probably be the most common of all of these risks. Millions of bacteria live in your mouth, which makes infection a probable complication of your oral piercing. It’s difficult to get a piercing and not be constantly touching it or playing with it, which just introduces another way for bacteria to enter the site of your piercing. Lastly, food debris can collect around oral piercings, adding another source of bacteria.

Oral piercings are notorious for making it more difficult to eat and speak, but many people will also develop habits of playing with or chewing on their piercings, much like how some people bite their nails or chew on pencils. This habit can lead to cracked, fractured, or broken teeth. In minor cases, fillings can be used to fill small cracks, but if the fracture goes deep enough into the tooth, you may need to have a root canal or even have the tooth removed completely.

Lastly, oral piercings take between 4-6 weeks to heal, and these 4-6 weeks can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Your piercing will also require quite a bit of upkeep and maintenance to keep clean and healthy. Be sure that you’re up to the task of caring for your piercing forever!

Dr. Kate Wilson recommends that you clean your piercing every day, especially after eating, by using an antiseptic mouthwash. You should also brush your hardware at the same time you brush your teeth each day.

If you need any other tips on keeping your piercing clean, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Kate Wilson, please contact Coastal Periodontics, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Posted on Feb 10, 2016
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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