The Effects of Oral Piercings

Oral piercings are more common today than ever before, especially with specialized techniques that make it possible to have unconventional beauty procedures available across cities and towns. However, the mouth is a special organ that is highly sensitive, and if you aren’t careful your typical piercing could risk you getting infected. Take the following risks into consideration when getting a piercing and make sure to treat the area tenderly:

  • Infections are the number one health problem of getting an oral piercing. If you get a part of your mouth pierced, make sure that the tools used are sterilized and that you keep the area clean, preferably covered with gauze or a protective device, while it heals around the jewelry. If you do not take care of the wounded area well, bacteria can settle in the tissue and cause a dangerous infection. The studio where you receive your piercing will usually tell you what you can use to clean the area of any dirt or food.

  • Transmission of diseases like the herpes simplex virus, hepatitis B, and C is a huge risk. This risk also has to do with the cleanliness of the tools used when your piercing was made. Remember that a piercing is basically making a wound in your tissue, and unwanted microorganisms can enter that area if the tools are not sterilized. Visit the studio where you’re getting pierced and look around to see if everything is in order. A good studio will have hospital grade autoclaves and practice infection control (use of gloves, hand washing). You may even ask to see the studio’s health certificates if you want to be sure.

  • Nerve damage is also a risk, especially if the piercing was done incorrectly. If the nerves were damaged during the piercing, you can experience numbness or loss of sensation in the area. Prolonged bleeding is also an issue if a blood vessel was damaged during the piercing.

  • Difficulty breathing is a possible side-effect if your tongue swells following a tongue piercing. The tongue can block the airway and cause the passages to be blocked. If swelling happens around different areas, it can prove difficult to do daily oral functions, such as eating, drinking, and even brushing the teeth.

If you do experience infection, severe pain, excessive bleeding, and other symptoms, take out the piercing and see a doctor immediately. The jewelry you put in may be the cause of the infection and bleeding, so it’s best to get checked out.

Piercings aren’t bad for health, as most of the population has their ears pierced for aesthetic purposes. It just pays to be careful with oral piercings because not being careful could lead to months or even years of problems that affect your oral health. Let us know if you have any questions, or want to visit a dentist specialized in oral health for those with piercings.