Modifications to the oral cavity and surrounding facial tissue can affect your oral health. While oral piercings and dermal modifications are a popular method of self-expression, it is important that patients understand the risks they take before modifying their bodies. If you are considering an oral or dermal piercing, we encourage you to have a conversation with our dentist at your next appointment so that you can have a full understanding of the risks involved as well receive information on how you can reduce the likelihood for oral health complications associated with piercings.
Permanent Damage to Teeth
Oral piercings – especially those in the tongue can be quite damaging to teeth. This is because tongue piercings are metal and the metal components can hit against teeth during oral function. In many cases, those with tongue or lip piercings even tap the metal piercing against their teeth as a nervous habit. Over time, as teeth make contact with metal, they will weaken. Metal is strong enough to chip or crack a tooth – especially if a tooth’s enamel surface is weakened by acid or untimely wear and tear.
When teeth break, chip, or crack, patients must receive professional treatment such as restorations or endodontic (root canal) therapy from our dentist to prevent further complications like the loss of a tooth or infections like abscesses. This is because a tooth will not heal on its own and once its sensitive tissue is exposed to debris and bacteria, a weak tooth is incredibly vulnerable to severe damage and disease.
Risk of Infections
Oral piercings and dermal modifications on or around the mouth can increase the risk for infections – especially when patients don’t practice proper oral and personal hygiene. The mouth is already home to many kinds of bacteria – some good and harmful. When soft tissue like the linings of lips and cheeks or the tongue is pierced, it can leave these surfaces vulnerable to becoming infected. Oral infections can become severe without timely treatment.
If you have piercings and dermals, we recommend washing the areas properly along with practicing very thorough oral hygiene. For questions or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, call our practice at The Dental Place today.