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Oral Piercing & Dental Health


1. What are the risks & complications of an oral piercing?


The wound created by the piercing, associated with the great quantity of bacteria present in the mouth, and the handling of jewels increase the risk of infections like tetanus.


Transmission of diseases

Oral piercing is a potential risk factor for the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis B and C or herpes.


Oral piercings create an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. This is because the jewelry, especially the metal pins, can come into contact with the gum walls, causing injury and gum recession. 

Damage to teeth

Teeth that come in contact with jewelry can crack.

Nerve damage to the tongue

During the piercing operation,

  • Damage to the blood vessels of the tongue can result in significant blood loss.

  • A nerve may be injured, resulting in nerve damage that is usually temporary, but sometimes permanent. The damaged nerve may affect your sense of taste or the way you move your mouth.

Disorders of oral function

The jewel stimulates excessive saliva production. 


Allergic reaction

Allergic contact dermatitis, a hypersensitivity reaction to the metal of the jewelry, may occur.


Aspiration of the jewel

If the jewel comes off, there is a risk of injury to the digestive tract (ingestion) or lungs (inhalation).

2. Other risks and complications?

Endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart or its valves. Bacteria could enter the wound created by the piercing and into the bloodstream which can cause the development of endocarditis in some people with an often undiagnosed history of heart problems.

3. If you already have an oral piercing?

  • Contact your dentist if you have signs of infection (swelling, pain, fever, chills, shivering, or reddish appearance around the piercing). Remove the jewelry.

  • Keep the piercing site clean.

  • Avoid creating contact between the jewelry and your teeth.

  • Remove your jewelry when you play sports.

Other links that might also interest you

  • Crowns

  • Bridge

  • Inlay / Onlay / Overlay

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