What does oral piercing have to do with dental care?
Oral piercing has become popular among teenagers and young adults. For some people, it holds aesthetic appeal. In fact, it has become a form of self-expression and type of body art. Oral jewelry includes studs, hoops, rings and barbells, with piercings inside or around the mouth. However, can it complicate your dental health?
What you should know about oral piercing
The answer is, yes it can. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the following are some of the ways piercings can impact oral health:
- Chipped or damaged teeth
- Receding gums (exposing the roots of teeth)
- Cuts and scarring
- Jewelry becoming embedded (requiring surgical removal)
- Airway obstruction
- Hypersalivation (causing problems with eating, talking, drooling, or causing chapped lips and leading to skin infections)
- Abnormal redness of the skin on the palate
- Build-up of scar tissue
- Pus discharge in the pierced area
What can you do to prevent these harmful effects?
If you do get an oral piercing, plan on experiencing swelling and pain during the first few days. Dentists recommend using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Once the swelling has gone down, you’ll have to return and have the piercer replace the longer jewelry with a shorter piece of jewelry. Doing this should help minimize damage and irritation.
Dentists recommend keeping up with standard dental practices: brushing twice a day and using floss. Continue using an alcohol-free mouth wash while the area heals. Keep in mind that bacteria and plaque can build up in greater accumulation around the pierced area. Do your best to keep the area clean.
You should remove oral jewelry before participating in sports or other physical activities, and in particular for contact or collision sports.