22 March 2017

Oral Piercings Related to Oral Health

Oral piercing sites include the tongue, lips and cheeks. Oral piercings are considered body art and is a personal statement. The jewelry is made of stainless steel, gold, titanium or niobium, and consists of studs, barbells or hoops.

Dangers of Oral Piercings:
  • Pain, swelling and bleeding.
  • Tissue scarring.
  • Gum damage (recession) from trauma caused by the jewelry rubbing.
  • Infection that can travel through the bloodstream.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth.
  • Problems swallowing.
  • Choking on or aspiration of jewelry.
  • Difficulty eating/loss of taste.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Bad breath (halitosis).
  • Tartar formation on the oral jewelry.

Care for Oral Piercings to Help Avoid Complications:
  • Wash your hands before touching the piercing.
  • Brush and rinse after every meal.
  • Clean the piercing site with an alcohol free antiseptic mouth wash after every meal.
  • Brush the jewelry to remove any plaque present.
  • Remove the jewelry before eating, sleeping or playing sports.
  • Any yellow or green pus suggests an infection is present; a physician should be contacted immediately if this occurs.

Dental Hygienist are aware of the possible consequences and risks associated with oral piercings. During regular dental examinations your dental hygienist will check for cracked or chipped teeth, as well as gum infection/damage (recession). The Ontario Dental Hygienist Association does not recommend any type of oral piercing.