Oral piercings, a fashion with a risk for oral health

Oral piercings are fashionable, but this does not mean that they are harmless, they can cause multiple complications and oral lesions. To avoid all these types of oral problems, both tongue and lip piercings should be placed and worn in such a way that they cannot collide with the teeth or interfere with the bite.

Risks of oral piercings

Complications that can develop when wearing a piercing in the mouth may include: swelling, pain, difficulty speaking and chewing, change in taste perception (dysgeusia), bleeding, excess salivary secretion (hypersialia), infection and tingling sensation (paresthesia).

In addition to these risks, other types of consequences can also occur, such as periodontal lesions and alterations in hard and soft tissues, both in extraoral and intraoral placement. Oral fissures are the most common damage, followed by abrasions and pigmentation. With regard to soft tissues the most frequent is the mark left by the piercing (imprint), followed by loss of tongue papillae (depapillation), tissue overgrowth (keloids) and ulceration.

Periodontal disease

Despite these pathologies, there is one lesion with alarming effects for dental specialists, and that is periodontal disease, which occurs in almost half of all piercing wearers. The degree of occurrence is greater in patients with metal piercings and extraoral placement, especially in the case of those located in the gums. This type of problem can arise first as soft gum tissue injury and later as gum recession, which also leads to an esthetic problem.

It is important to understand that before the gums can recede, some of the underlying bone in the jaws may be lost. As a result of this bone loss, inflammation and infection of the gums can occur. In addition, they will favor the appearance of cavities and the penetration of the hard outer layer of the teeth, including the pulp tissue by toxic bacteria, thus creating an infection and, consequently, inflammation accompanied by terrible pain.

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Prevention of periodontal disease

To ensure that the oral problems discussed above do not arise, it is recommended to wear only small pieces of jewelry. Piercings should not be able to rotate inside the lip, at which point it could come in contact with the teeth and gums and thus cause abrasive action, tearing or cutting of the tissue, as well as chipping and cracking of the tooth enamel.

On the other hand, it is advisable to always use surgical grade stainless steel, titanium, 14 karat gold or other appropriate jewelry and avoid lower quality metals. In addition, teeth and gums should be kept properly cleaned and sanitized and routine visits to your dentist should be scheduled so that your oral health can be monitored.