There are a variety of risks associated with oral piercings, and our Surrey orthodontists advise generally against them whether you have braces or not. But if you do have braces, there are some additional risks associated with oral piercings.
Why are oral piercings a bad idea for oral health?
Oral piercings increase your risk of developing a variety of oral and other health conditions. Some oral piercing risks include:
- Infection: Oral piercings create another crevice for bacteria to build up in. This is particularly dangerous when the piercing is new and hasn't healed yet.
- Disease Transmission: Oral piercings increase the risk of the transmission of herpes simplex virus, and of hepatitis B & C.
- Chipped Enamel: Metal jewelry can cause damage to teeth, and chipped or cracked teeth can often require expensive dental work.
- Nerve Damage: If nerves are damaged during the piercing, it can result in numbness and difficulty moving the pierced area.
- Endocarditis: Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream via the piercing wound, and this can result in endocarditis, the inflammation of the heart and/or its valves.
- Difficulty with Normal Oral Functions: Oral piercings can make oral functions like chewing, speaking and swallowing difficult. Tongue piercings can also cause excessive saliva production, resulting in temporary or permanent drooling.
- Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Long-stem tongue piercings in particular can increase your risk of gum disease. When the jewelry comes into contact with the gums, it can cause injuries, which can result in gum infections and recession over time.
Oral Piercings & Orthodontics
Wearing oral jewelry during orthodontic treatment presents even more potential oral health problems.
A tongue piercing may hit the braces during talking or sleep, potentially damaging them. They can also interfere with tooth movement, making your orthodontic treatment less effective, potentially even causing gaps to form between the teeth. Tongue piercings can also interfere with retainers and Invisalign aligners.