5 October, 2020

‘Everything that glitters is not gold’; similarly, everything that looks cool isn’t safe!

Several adults are into piercings, and they get accessories for their tongue, teeth and lips, which can be damaging and pose implications in the long term. Most doctors and dentists advise against oral piercings saying that the mouth is one of the ‘worst’ places for jewelry. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends against oral piercings.

However, the lure for self-expression can be intense sometimes!

Our mouth is home to several types of bacteria, which poses risks for infections, swelling and even damage to the teeth and gums.

Health Risks

Oral piercings include tongue, lips and uvula. Those who get them pierced often have issues with chewing, swallowing and even speech. In addition to this, it also includes:

Infection and Swelling

The moist environment breeds bacteria, which proves it to be an ideal place for the infection that can progress to life-threatening diseases.

Damaged Gums, Fillings and Teeth

  • People often bite and play with the piercings they get, often out of habit. This results in cracked or scratched teeth that are naturally more sensitive. The constant metal rubbing against the gums wears them out, putting you at a greater risk of tooth loss!


It includes allergic reactions to metal.

Nerve Damage

Once you get the piercing, the tongue or the concerned area goes numb. This numbness is temporary, but if not done right, it can be permanent.

Risk Mitigation

If somebody has decided on getting a piercing or have already done so, it is essential to take the necessary precautions. Before getting the piercing done, ensure that they follow all infection-control procedures and check for their certificates and sterilization measures.

Get the right sized jewelry fix and let it heal. While you are undergoing the healing process, avoid the following:

  • Smoking or any other tobacco products
  • Brush after every meal, and don’t forget to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Saltwater rinses
  • Visit your dentist regularly to get your teeth and gums checked.

Warning Signs

Do not ignore the warning signs!


Look out for yellow or green discharge as it could be an infection. Visit your dentist and get it checked at once.

Tissue Changes and Tearing

If you notice a thickened or dark tissue around the piercing or excessive bleeding/tearing around that area after the initial healing period, get medical assistance!

Pain, Fever and Swelling

If you any of these symptoms, chances are you need medical assistance. Please do not shy away from getting it checked!

Such complications can occur at any time. Some might appear soon after you get the accessory, while other issues might take time.

Irrespective of the timeframe, if you notice any changes in the tissue or area surrounding the piercing or if the healing takes longer than it should, visit your doctor right away! The fashion appeal of the piercings is acknowledgeable, but health and safety come first. Always!

If you have any questions about oral piercings, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations. For us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.