It’s a popular trend lately to pierce your tongue or lips. Yet are there potential side effects? What are the consequences of oral piercings for your mouth? According to dental experts, there are health risks associated with lip and tongue piercings. The health risks may affect oral health as well as general health.
Risks for Teeth
Damage to teeth is a serious risk associated with piercings of the tongue and lips. First, lip and tongue jewelry can chip or crack teeth. They can also damage fillings. Furthermore, the piercings can affect eating. Oral jewelry, the mere presence of it, can lead to an increase in the mouth’s saliva production. The excess saliva can cause problems for both chewing and swallowing.
The gums are at increased risk from oral piercings, too. Oral jewelry contains metal; this metal can cause the gums to recede away from a tooth or teeth. Biting down on a jewel may scratch or even cut the gums causing them to bleed and leaving them prone to infection.
Overall Health Risks
Oral piercings can cause other problems for health. Piercings can strike a nerve and lead to nerve damage. This nerve damage can lead to a numbed tongue—a quite common practice. Often this is a temporary problem; however, the nerves in the tongue can also be permanently damaged. This damage can prevent a person from moving their tongue and even tasting.
Oral piercings can also leave the body prone to infection, particularly since many types of bacteria are contained in the mouth. Piercing sites are especially prone to infection. More seriously, diseases like Hepatitis B and C have also been associated with piercing sites. Hepatitis, of course, can lead to serious complications.
From systematic infections to cracked tooth syndrome, oral piercings can lead to significant oral and general health problems. Both dentists and doctors have encountered these problems that have been documented in major medical publications in Canada and abroad. While trends come and go, some of these problems can be permanent. To ward away the risks, it’s safest to avoid piercing your lips and tongue.