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If you are looking into getting an oral piercing, please be aware of the risks associated with them. While lip and tongue piercings may seem like a fun and creative way to express oneself, they are not without risks to your oral health. So to avoid damaging your smile, please read on.

Be Aware of These Signs:

  • A thickening and darkening of the gums around the piercing site.
  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling in the gums that doesn’t heal.
  • Yellow or green discharge from the site (white is normal).
  • Bleeding or tearing after the piercing has healed, a low grade fever that doesn’t go away or an abscess at the site.

Periodontitis (severe gum disease) occurs when the layer of gum tissue and bone create “pockets” as they pull back from the teeth, so the teeth become loose and either fall out or need to be removed. A Journal of the American Dental Association study confirms that tongue and lip piercings can cause tooth loss.

Oral piercings can cause inflammation and damage to the nerves at the piercing site. Not only that, but piercings can cause inflammation and damage to the nerves at the piercing site, because the mouth is full of bacteria which can harm the body, and a piercing is just what they need to enter the wound. Also, if the piercing jewelry is constantly touching the gums, they may recede and the teeth can become chipped or fractured.

So, if you have assessed these risks and still want an oral piercing, be sure to take good care of the piercing site and follow the directions given to you by your piercing professional. Be diligent because it can take four to six weeks to heal a tongue piercing and up to two months for a lip piercing.

Even though not all oral piercings result in oral health damage, serious issues can and do arise. Our goal is to give you a healthy, confident smile, so if you have any questions or concerns about an oral piercing please contact our office for a visit with our dedicated dentist, Dr. Dennis Burrell. Our dental team in University Place, Washington can be reached by calling 253-564-7645 today!