Are oral piercings bad for your teeth?

Are you looking after your oral piercing?

Piercings are one of the most popular forms of self expression. There are several variations available, but some are riskier than others, and oral piercings are one of them. Although they may look cool, oral piercings have been found to cause damage to the teeth.

Here's everything you need to know about oral piercings and oral health.

The effects of oral piercings on the teeth

Around 50 per cent of people living with an oral piercing have experienced injury to the gums or teeth, according to Livestrong. Here are some of the most common side effects associated with them:

1. Receding gums

Gum recession is a condition where the gum tissue around the tooth pulls back, leaving more of the tooth exposed. This can be caused by a number of issues, including oral piercings. Previous studies discovered that in some cases, as many as 35 per cent of people who had tongue piercings for four years or longer developed receding gums around the nearby teeth.

Constantly playing with an oral piercing causes it to move against the gum, which in turn leads to irritation and gum recession. This can evolve into tooth sensitivity and pockets forming between the teeth and gums which can cause infection and loss of tooth if left untreated.

Around 50 per cent of people living with an oral piercing have experienced injury to the gums or teeth.

2. Cracking and chipping

People with oral piercings may discover that it's incredibly easy to accidentally bump this piece of jewellery against the teeth, especially when talking or eating. The contact of a piece of hard metal against the teeth can cause the enamel on the teeth to gradually wear away. This erosion exposes the dentin underneath, which may lead to sensitivity. Biting down too hard can even create cracks within the teeth. This may require cosmetic dentistry to fix the problem.

How does your oral piercing affect your teeth?Are you taking care of your oral piercing?

3. Infection and swelling

Even if a piercing is done in a sterile environment, a person is still at risk of contracting infection following the procedure. This is because the mouth is a warm and moist environment, home to high amounts of breeding bacteria and therefore, the ideal place for infection to form.  Although infection is fairly common, it's important to treat any signs of irritation and swelling immediately to avoid the problem from worsening. Consult a doctor if infection is present.

How can you prevent these problems?

Here are three easy ways to prevent problems:

  • Keep it clean: As well as brushing and flossing, use an antiseptic mouthwash after every meal to reduce the buildup of deposits collecting around the piercing.
  • Avoid playing with it: Although tempting, leave your piercing alone and be aware of its movements when talking or chewing. 
  • See your dentist regularly: Routine check-ups are a great way to maintain a strong level of oral care and treat any arising problems.

If you've been experiencing issues with your oral piercing, contact the experts at City Dentists immediately on 04 978 4964.