Body piercings are a common form of self-expression. This post is about oral piercing, and its effects on oral health.
Since this is a dental blog, you may be expecting all sorts of alarms about the dangers of piercings. You are right. Unfortunately, these piercings and the jewelry they accommodate can lead to serious troubles with not only your teeth and mouth, but your entire body.
Oral piercings can cause tooth damage, tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth loss, bone recession, compromised immune system function and, in rare cases, death. Any oral piercing opens you up to harmful infections and complications. The mouth is full of germs and introducing foreign objects permanently is not natural for your body’s health.
A tongue piercing can result in difficulty chewing with unnatural chewing patterns that may lead to swallowing problems. The jewelry produces excess saliva from the salivary glands, which throws off the natural balance of your oral cavity. Permanent nerve deterioration, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions can also develop.
Metal jewelry also can easily come in contact with your teeth, leading to cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth. Your teeth are built to last a lifetime. Chips, cracks, and enamel erosion compromise their durability and shorten their life span.
Complications with some piercings ensue by the introduction of hepatitis and herpes simplex viruses, and even more complications have occurred with bacteria entering the bloodstream and eventually lodging in the heart valve. In rare cases, such infections are fatal.
Though not technically a piercing, some California people drill small holes in their teeth to place rhinestones or other jewelry. Drilling into a tooth is harmful for many reasons, including damage that can make a root canal necessary. The jewel also can attract bacteria that can directly go into the drilled cavity of the tooth.
At Premier Dental Esthetics in Arcadia, we are providers of family and cosmetic dentistry. We encourage patients with oral piercings to remove their jewelry before it puts their health at risk. If plan to keep yours, we urge you to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups. We will set up a schedule for regular visits so we can discover and correct problems in their early stages before they become more severe.
Contact Premier Dental Esthetics – Peter S. Young, DDS:
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