Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression, but when it comes to your mouth and tongue, your dentist would probably have you avoid it. Oral piercings can negatively impact the health of your teeth, tongue, and entire body. Learn more below from our Hickory NC dentist.
Biting down on a tongue, cheek, or lip piercing by accident can easily cause a cracked or chipped tooth. Less common, but still possible, is for an oral piercing to damage or dislodge a cavity filling. Lastly, some people develop a bad habit of playing with the piercing using their tongue, causing it to click against the teeth constantly. This can cause your teeth to chip or crack, and can also erode your enamel and increase sensitivity.
Oral piercings can injure soft gum tissue, causing it to recede. In addition to looking unattractive, recessed gums leave your tooth root more vulnerable to decay and periodontal disease.
Lip, cheek and tongue piercings can cause excessive saliva flow, causing problems with chewing and swallowing and your ability to pronounce words correctly. It’s also, of course, quite embarrassing, and can impact your confidence and self-esteem!
No matter how well or how often you brush, your mouth will always be home to millions of bacteria. All that bacteria can easily infect a piercing. If the infection is left unchecked, your entire body can develop a more serious bacterial infection, such as hepatitis or endocarditis. If not treated promptly and correctly, oral infections can even become life-threatening.
Pain and swelling are common symptoms of oral piercings. In extreme cases, a severely swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and restrict breathing. You also could choke on the piercing if it breaks and falls down your trachea.
After an oral piercing, you will likely experience numbness caused by nerve damage. Usually, this damage is temporary, but in some cases, it can be permanent. If the piercing is on your tongue, you could lose your sense of taste, or lose the ability to move your tongue in certain ways, which will affect your speech.
If you live in Hickory NC and are concerned about an oral health issue, stop by our Hickory dentist office today. Our experienced team will examine your teeth for signs of fractures or chips, and provide some recommendations for your oral health care. To schedule an appointment, click here.