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Oral Piercing and Dental Problems


Updated: May 28, 2008

Oral piercing has become widely popular over the past few years. They are usually done on the lip, tongue and / or cheek. However, many people aren’t aware of the dental problems that can go along with it. Some problems that can result from oral piercing are:

  • Infection
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum damage
  • Loss of taste
  • Mouth sores

The most common dental problems caused by oral piercing are fractured teeth and infection.

Teeth can become chipped and fractured by mouth jewelry while talking, eating, chewing and even sleeping. If a tooth is fractured in the enamel, it may only need a filling. If the fracture goes deeper into the tooth, a root canal or extraction may be necessary.

Since the tongue is covered with bacteria, dentists are finding that oral infections are related to other infections in the body. For instance, when the tongue is punctured for the oral piercing, the bacteria on the tongue can release into the bloodstream and travel to the heart.

Anyone considering oral piercing should talk with their dentist first to make sure that they are practicing good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene and a commitment to taking care of the piercing are essential in preventing serious infections. To help avoid chipped and fractured teeth, remove the jewelry during eating and sleeping.


Academy of General Dentistry To Pierce or not to Pierce 27 May 2008.

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