The topic of oral piercing has come up in conversation at our orthodontic office in Columbus, Ohio. Some teenagers have decided to take the plunge and the parents are usually looking for contraindication to it.
Whether you’re a fan of tongue and lip piercing or not, the American Dental Association has conducted studies that found wearing mouth jewelry even for a limited time can cause permanent gum deformities that could lead ultimately to tooth loss. The ongoing contact between the jewelry and your gums has been found to lead to receding gums, chipped or broken teeth, and worse yet, nerve damage or infection at the site of the piercing.
Piercing is one of today’s popular forms of body art and self-expression. Doing it may seem daring, cool and totally safe for whatever reason but piercing the tongue, lips, or cheeks is not as safe as some would have you believe. That’s because the oral cavity is home to numerous nerve bundles and blood vessels. The mouth’s moist environment hosts huge amounts of breeding bacteria—an ideal place for infection!
An infection can quickly become life threatening if it’s not treated promptly. If a person has a heart condition an oral piercing carries a potential risk of bacterial endocarditis. This an infection of the inside surface of the heart or valves. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the piercing site in the mouth and travel to the heart, where it can colonize on heart abnormalities. In the worst of cases, results in death.
Don’t pierce on a whim. Piercing carries certain risks and will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep especially if you smoke or take medications. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist for more information. Let us know how Dr. Mendieta and staff can address your concerns. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook🙂