You might have spent hours thinking about what kind of oral piercing to get and what ring or stud you want to show off. But to your teeth, oral piercings are all the same… Whether it’s a lip ring or a tongue piercing, your teeth and gums don’t like them.
More Metal, More problems
If you have an oral piercing or are thinking about getting one, first consider the damage you could do to your smile:
- Chipped, cracked or scratched teeth: When you first get pierced, the metal pieces are larger and/or longer so your lips and tongue have room to swell while healing. But that large jewelry moves around your mouth more, knocking the teeth all hours of the day. There is also the habit of constantly playing with or biting the jewelry. This puts unusual stress on your teeth and may damage enamel.
- Gum recession: Damage to your gum line can happen because oral piercings often rub against the gums, causing them to recede. While tongue piercings tend to damage the gums behind the upper and lower teeth, lips rings affect the gums in front of the upper and lower teeth.
- Nerve damage: A tongue piercing could damage the nerves in your tongue, causing it to go numb and affect movement and your sense of taste.
It doesn’t take long for piercings to damage teeth and gums either — it can happen after as little as a few months of wear. Infections are also a common problem with these piercings, so if you do decide to get one be sure to be absolutely vigilant about brushing, flossing and rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash.