Piercing and tattoos the recent years have became a form of self-expression. Especially piercings in the oral cavity are becoming very popular. Tongue piercing is the fifth most popular piercing in the western world. Other sites for oral piercing can be lips, cheeks or a combination of the sites.
In this article you are going to read about the complication of your mouth health with oral piercing.
Tongue piercing – As we said earlier it is the most famous among oral piercings. Usually it is done in the center of the tongue by placing transversally a barbell-shaped jewelry. Immediately after piercing the tongue a temporary jewelry is placed, it has to be longer because of the swelling that happens. After the swelling has gone away, a period of irritation might follow. It is very important in this period of time to take good care of your oral hygiene. When it is fully healed the initial barbell is replaced with a shorter one.
Tongue piercing can be placed also laterally non in the center of the tongue, usually two barbell shaped piercings placed horizontally but it can also be a curved bar going horizontally
Another type of piercing is the tongue frenulum piercing, placed underneath the tongue through the frenulum.
Lip piercing – Lip piercing can be placed in both, upper and lower lip or it can be done in pairs. Initial piercing can be a labret stud or a captive bead ring. Lip piercings depending on the area of lips placed take different names like: Monroe piercing, a labret stud in worn in the upper lip where Marilyn Monroe had her famous birthmark
Cheek piercing – one of the most common piercings types penetrates the cheek into the oral cavity. The jewelry placed is usually a labret stud or a regular barbell. The most common problem with cheek piercing is the unintentional biting that can result in the break of the jewelry or the fracture of the teeth.
Like we said earlier for tongue piercing usually a longer device is placed also for lip piercing and cheek piercing, because immediately after piercing the tissue a normal swelling happens. Healing time depends on the site of the piercing and also from the post piercing infection that might take place.
Oral piercings can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. They may also cause:
• Infection, pain and swelling. Immediate swelling happens after piecing the tissue and may need several days to go away. It can be life threatening if the swelling of the tongue blocks the airways.
• Nerve damage. It can be temporary for example tongue numbness or permanent in more severe cases. This may affect the ability to taste foods, sensitivity of the tongue, lips or cheeks or how you move those muscles.
• Difficulties in eating and speaking. Because of the interposition of the jewelry during these functions sometimes the person who has a piercing has problems pronouncing some words or swallowing some food
• Damages to teeth and gums. The repeated trauma of the jewels to the teeth and gums can cause temporary or permanent damages. For example the barbell jewelry placed in the tongue hits the lower central incisors every time you speak or swallow action that is done hundreds of times during the day. These trauma can cause fractures of the teeth that depending on the severity can be easy to fix or can result in tooth loss. Also the barbell can hit the tooth near the gums. The gums tent to go far from trauma by exposing the tooth root. The exposure of the root causes sensitivity to hot and cold foods, bigger risk for radicular caries or root fractures.
• Hipersalivation. Placement of foreign things in the mouth causes increase in the saliva production
• Allergic reaction to metal. It is called allergic contact dermatitis and can occur in susceptible people.
If you already have oral piercings
• Contact your dentist, so together you evaluate if it is worth keeping your piercing, if you need remedies for the problems it might have caused or how to take care of your oral hygiene to prevent any future problem
• Try to avoid taking the jewelry against your teeth or gums every time you speak, eat or swallow. If you feel your piercing is too long and involuntary you feel it goes against teeth, you should change it with a shorter one
• Check if the piece of jewelry is well tightened to prevent swallowing or choking if it dislocated.
Said all that, you have to consider the removal of the piercing if they are starting to cause problems, it takes a lot of responsibilities and care to keep one. Talk to your dentist to find a better solution for you.