Oral piercings commonly refer to piercings of the tongue, cheek or lips and are usually shown off with jewelry such as studs, barbells or rings. They are a form of self expression that has become especially popular in the last two decades. Unfortunately, when not performed or cared for properly, mouth piercings pose a much greater health risk than ear piercings. They also require constant upkeep and attention. Before you get an oral piercing, it is always best to speak with your dentist about your individual risks and personalized care.
What are the typical risks associated with oral piercings?
Our mouths contain millions of bacteria, which means the risk of infection and inflammation, as well as further complications, increases dramatically. For example, an infected tongue can swell so much that it closes off the airway and make it difficult to breathe. After a piercing, watch for typical signs of infection such as the presence of a fever, chills, and swelling or redness around the piercing site. If you notice any of these signs, call our office as soon as you can.
Other risks associated with mouth piercings include:
Caring for Oral Piercings
Piercings in the mouth will usually heal in four to six weeks. Taking piercing aftercare seriously reduces your risk of complications and keeps healing time to a minimum. Here are some tips to keep in mind during this time: