Oral Piercings: The Hidden Health Risks

Fort Worth pediatric dentistOral piercings can be done to just about any softer oral tissue available … cheeks, lips, and the tongue are the most likeliest of places that many teens and young adults will choose in an effort to address their individuality or as a fashion statement. If you believe your child is considering pursuing an oral piercing, a visit with their pediatric dentist outlining all the risks of their action may persuade them to reconsider.

A piercing involves making a hole in the tissue, inserting a piece of jewelry, and holding it in place with a backing.

A great deal of research should be completed before entertaining piercing, so ask questions like: is your child old enough to make this decision; have all possible side effects been discussed; and has your kid’s dental history been reviewed to determine that they aren’t already suffering from gum disease or other dental malady that will be made worse with an oral piercing.

Hidden health risks to be considered include the potential for developing an infection at the site, uncontrolled bleeding, nerve damage, scarring, or even an allergic reaction. These are problems that can occur right away or within days of the procedure.

Of course, the individual conducting the piercing must be thoroughly vetted to be assured they are working in a sterile environment, are licensed, and have a good reputation for the services they perform.

Final considerations include: are you prepared for the extra saliva production that is likely to occur with your new jewelry? Over time the ongoing contact of jewelry can damage gum tissue and break down dental enamel leading to dental decay, chipped teeth, or even a broken tooth. All of these eventualities involve costly and time consuming dental treatment. You need to weigh the advantages with the potential consequences.

Of course it goes without saying that any body piercing must be kept clean in an effort to prevent infection; and if you must have it done make sure to follow all the instructions issued for the best possible outcome.

Many young adults will go forward with oral piercings without giving these things much thought; but depending on the age of the patient, parental consent may be needed so be sure to contact your dentist to educate yourself on all the hidden risks involved with oral piercings.

To get more information about maintaining oral health, contact our caring team today!