Dangers of Oral Piercings

Admin Team Oral Health

dangers of oral piercingServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Oral piercings have become quite popular in Western culture, especially among teenagers and younger adults. As the number of people with piercings increases so does the number of cases of complications from a piercing that compromise oral health.

Whether you already have a piercing or are thinking about getting one, you should educate yourself on the possible dangers of oral piercings.

  • Local inflammation: This can be problematic in particular for tongue piercings. Immediately after the procedure, the tongue may become swollen, affecting your ability to eat and speak. This swelling may persist for as long as three to five weeks. In the event of persistent swelling, make an appointment with your local Nashville dentist at Devine Dentistry.
  • Infection: The tongue and lips are both moist, warm environments, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria and lead to an infection developing in oral piercings in either area. Typically, infection can be avoided by maintaining a diligent regimen of after-care that includes rinsing the mouth three or four times per day with an antibacterial mouthwash.  Melt ice chips in your mouth for the first few days to help minimize swelling. Always wash hands before handling the piercing. Avoiding any type of oral contact for about a month after the piercing, and cleaning the mouth jewelry on a regular basis. If you develop symptoms such as fever, chills or tremors, or see red streaks develop at the site of the piercing, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Ludwig’s angina: Stemming from an inflammation of connective tissue in the body, this condition is known to spread rapidly to involve submandibular, submental, and sublingual spaces. Symptoms include painful tongue swelling, difficulty in speaking, and a compromised airway—which could be fatal.
  • Cracked or fractured teeth: This is most likely after the initial swelling has diminished from a piercing procedure, as teeth bite down or chip against the piercing. Fractured molars seem to be the most common of this type of injury. Symptoms include sensitivity to sweets and cold, and pain upon biting pressure.
  • Metal allergy: If you are considering an oral piercing, be sure to choose a piece of mouth jewelry made of an inert, nontoxic metal such as 14 or 18 karats gold, surgical stainless steel, titanium, or niobium. Never use costume jewelry, which often has a silver plating or some other type of finish that can wear off quickly in a moist, warm environment, leaving abrasive brass that can lead to infection or an allergic reaction.

We urge you to seek the advice of your Nashville dentist before having a piercing done. At Devine Dentistry, our Green Hills dentists and hygienists can educate you on any safety and health issues you should be aware of, in addition to providing advice as to how you can maintain optimum oral hygiene after the procedure and thus minimize the likelihood of negative consequences such as an infection developing.

Family Dentist in Nashville

For more information, contact the office of Devine Dentistry during normal business hours by calling (615) 269-4209.

Devine Dentistry is proud to provide total oral care for patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills and Nashville in Tennessee.