Do you have a tongue or lip piercing? Perhaps you have a dermal modification around your lips. Did you know that dermal modifications and oral piercings can affect your health in negative ways? Our team understands that body modification is a popular form of self-expression. Unfortunately, this type of self-expression can come at a cost: your health.
We urge patients to consider the possible consequences of these types of alterations. Oral piercings such as tongue rings or lip rings can affect the health of teeth and gums. Both piercings and dermal modifications can increase one’s risk of bacterial and fungal infections. If you are thinking about receiving a modification near or in your mouth, we encourage you to discuss this with our dentist. Our team can help you make an informed decision regarding your oral health.
How Oral Piercings Affect Teeth and Gums
Metal is the most common material used in an oral piercing. When a lip or tongue is pierced, the piercing will come in contact with teeth during oral function. Since metal is a hard substance, it can wear down tooth enamel over time. Tooth enamel is the protective coating around teeth that helps prevent tooth decay. When enamel is damaged, teeth can develop cavities and even chip or break. It is common for those with oral piercings to tap their tongue rings against teeth or their teeth against lip rings as a nervous habit.
Additionally, fungi or bacteria can infect the site of the piercing or dermal modification. Infections of any kind can affect overall oral health. Oral infections can occur anywhere in the mouth – especially along soft tissues like the linings of cheeks and the gums. The mouth is very susceptible to infection anyway because it is a warm, moist environment.
If you already have a piercing or dermal modification, we strongly recommend that you practice proper and thorough oral hygiene to help reduce your risk for infection. We also urge you to be mindful about metal piercings coming in contact with teeth.
Our team is here to help you enjoy good oral health. To schedule an appointment with our dentist or to ask questions, call our practice today.