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Are oral piercings dangerous?

Posted on 8/8/2022 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
Are oral piercings dangerous?Piercing the body is a standard method of self-expression. Oral piercings and tongue splitting may be visually appealing, but they can be hazardous to your health. This is because your mouth contains millions of microorganisms, and mouth piercings frequently result in infection and edema. For instance, your mouth and tongue may enlarge to the point where they obstruct your airway, or you may suffocate if a piece of jewelry breaks off in your mouth. If you bite too hard on a piercing, you may shatter a tooth, and frequent clicking of jewelry on your teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing may potentially result in illnesses such as hepatitis and endocarditis.

Infection, discomfort, and inflammation

Your mouth is a wet habitat teeming with bacteria, making it a prime location for infection. A piercing may also cause your tongue to expand, potentially obstructing your airway. In the absence of immediate treatment, an infection can soon turn fatal.

Other effects

Two other significant risks are damage to the teeth and difficulties doing routine oral activities. According to a study published in a reputable dentistry journal on individuals with barbell tongue piercings for four or more years, nearly half of those polled had at least one chipped tooth. Oral piercings can make it more difficult to chew, swallow, and talk because they produce more saliva than is typically produced by the mouth.

Oral piercings can also be dangerous in other, less prevalent ways. Bacteria could occasionally enter the bloodstream and lead to endocarditis (inflammation of the heart or its valves). In some circumstances, nerve damage at the piercing site may result in a lack of sensation there, and constant contact between the piercing and the gum tissue may increase the risk of gum disease. In extreme circumstances, infected piercing equipment can result in more dangerous illnesses like hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS. For more information on the impacts of oral piercing on your dental health, please pay a visit to our clinics.

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Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here!
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