Why oral piercings might not be such a good idea

Why oral piercings might not be such a good idea
28/01/2017 76 Harley Street

Why oral piercings might not be such a good ideaPiercings are become increasingly popular, particularly amongst the younger generation and whilst they are generally regarded as no more than a cosmetic addition, there is some evidence to suggest that oral piercings could actually have a detrimental effect on oral and general health.

Long and short term damage from piercings

CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE summaries the output of his organisation’s research into the trend last year by saying “Our research has found that a sizeable amount of people are choosing to have oral piercings, they have become a very fashionable form of self-expression but not everybody realises the potential long and short term damages that they can have on our mouths”.

Signs that something’s not right

Below is a list of the symptoms that are increasing as a direct result of oral piercings:

  1. Interference with speech, chewing and swallowing. Not a medical problem in itself but eating and speaking are pretty important to a normal lifestyle.
  2. Infection. There is a very real chance of infection with any form of piercing but the mouth is a particularly vulnerable area. Jewelry worn here can become a focal point for harmful bacteria and unless the practitioner is operating surgically clean premises it could easily be possible to get an infection immediately.
  3. Pain, swelling and prolonged bleeding. If a blood vessel is punctured then it can take a long time for the bleeding to stop and it’s also not at all uncommon for there to be swelling to the tongue. This can be particularly dangerous if the tongue swells sufficiently to cover the air ways.
  4. Damage to the teeth and gums. Perhaps unsurprisingly, having a chunk of metal permanently in your mouth can lead to chipped and cracked teeth and damage to tender gum tissue.
  5. Endocarditis. In extreme cases oral piercings can cause inflammation of the heart valves

If you just can’t stop yourself from having an oral piercing, despite all the above warnings, or you already have one, then make a mental note to see your dentist at the first sign of any problem. Here at 76 Harley Street our team of experts will be able to assess your oral health to check for any existing damage.

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