Oral piercings on dental health

By October 21, 2022 No Comments

Oral piercings are trendy, but few consider the long-term impact on teeth and gums. If you’re contemplating the piercing, here’s some information.

Oral piercings are used to express oneself. Tongue piercings have increased recently. Few people think to see their dentist or doctor before getting pierced.

Piercings affect oral hygiene. These risks should be considered before getting an oral piercing.

Most mouth piercings are midline tongue piercings. Parallel vertical tongue punctures are venom bites. A curved barbell may enter the horizontal tongue tip. The upper and lower frenulum and “labret” piercing behind the lower lip are common locations. The “spider bite” and “snake bite” may be replicated by puncturing the philtrum and other lips.

Each location provides specific oral health risks and piercing-related issues. Examples: Infection



Saliva abnormalities (drooling)



Speech and swallowing issues

Airway Congestion

Blistering and bleeding

Birth defect with partial or absent tongue (bifid or cleft)

Oral piercings often cause long-term health issues.


Playing with mouth jewellery, clicking it back and forth across the teeth, or accidentally chewing on it while eating may damage teeth and nerves. Fillings might break too. The fixture will harm or break teeth that touch it. If a hard metal tool scratches the enamel, it may shatter or wear down, causing caries and further tooth disease.

Gums Regress

A painful piercing near the gums might induce gum recession. Studies show that 44% of those with oral piercings have gum retraction, compared to 7% without. Gum grafts may save teeth. Regression may need tooth extraction if untreated.

Gum Disease Signs

Oral piercings may cause gum disease and widespread gingivitis. Most dangerous pathogens enter via the mouth. Chronic inflammation from the immune system fighting itself causes several major autoimmune diseases. Ignoring gingivitis may lead to major tooth issues. Gum disease prevention improves dental and overall health.


Diastema may result from dental irritation from the piercing or from playing with the same jewellery. The tooth shifts with time. Most diastemas include a gum-line separation of the upper or lower front teeth, which requires significant and expensive orthodontic treatment.

Preventing dental issues

Maintaining oral piercings despite the health hazards may require several precautions.

Clean the piercing. Gargling with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day and rinsing after meals will keep your mouth healthy.

Avoid toying with and clicking polymer jewellery to safeguard your teeth.

Checking fitting tightness regularly may prevent damage from broken or swallowed fittings.

Playing sports requires removing jewellery and using a mouthguard.

Brush and floss twice daily to maintain dental health.

Schedule biannual or yearly dental visits and cleanings.

See Urban Smiles and Dr. Rob Andrew, promptly if you see redness, swelling, or infection.

To avoid gum and tongue irritation, clean your hands before handling the piercing and remove it occasionally.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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