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For a long time, piercings have been a way to make a fashion statement a popular style of self-expression if you will. In recent years it has become trendy to get an oral piercing or split the tongue, however, cool these things make us look, they have a big negative impact on our overall health but especially to our Oral Health.
As you may be aware of, our mouth is riddled with millions of bacterias causing infections and swelling in most cases where a piercing was placed somewhere in the mouth. There have been cases where the mouth and tongue have swollen so much it closed the airways causing the person to have a stroke. In other cases, pieces of the piercing have fallen off into the mouth causing choking. In other instances, people have cracked a tooth because of accidentally biting off the piercing. In addition to all that, the repeated rubbing between the teeth and the piercing can cause some serious damage to the enamel. Oral piercings have been linked to cases of more serious infections such as Hepatitis and/or Endocarditis.
Piercing your tongue, lips, cheeks, and even the uvula, it may lead to issues like Speech impediment, chewing and swallowing complications, but, it may also lead to:
- Infections, Pain, and Swelling: Your moist mouth is the perfect environment for millions of breeding bacterias, making it an ideal place for infection and when these infections go untreated it can become life-threatening quite quickly. Also, the possibility exists that piercing would cause your tongue to swallow and blocked your airways.
- Damaging your gums, teeth, and fillings: (if you have them) It becomes a very common and addictive habit to bite and playing with the piercing causing damage to our teeth and gums ending up in cracked, scratched and sensitive teeth. Also, Piercings and Fillings don’t get along, at all.
- Hypersensitivity: It isn’t uncommon to develop an allergic reaction around the area which was pierced.
- Damaged to the nerves: After getting an oral piercing it isn’t uncommon to experience certain numbness in the area and it happens because of some damage to a nerve. Normally this is a temporary situation, but there have been cases in which it becomes permanent. Having a damaged nerve in the tongue or mouth can lead to loss of taste or even the way you tend to move your mouth. Besides nerve damage, a piercing can incur in rupturing blood vessels in the tongue causing significant blood loss.
- Drooling: A piercing on the tongue increases the production of saliva.
- Complications during Dental Appointments: Having an oral piercing can cause problems when trying to conduct a thorough dental examination because it can block the X-Rays.
If you talk to your Dentist in Chapel Hill about wanting to get a piercing, (and before making any decision, you definitely should) they’ll probably advise against getting any form of oral piercing, because of all the complications described above and also the repercussions it will have to your General Health.
However, if instead of paying attention to the careful warnings of your dentist, you went on your own and got yourself an oral piercing, then you want to follow this tips:
- If you notice any sign of infection contact your dentist or doctor immediately, these are Swelling, Shaking, and Pain, Chills, Fever or a reddish look around the pierced area.
- Keep both the piercing and the pierced area clean of any matter, do a mouth rinse after every meal.
- Avoid at all cost making it a habit of clicking and rubbing your teeth against the piercing. Be careful when you eat and talk to avoid any serious damage to your teeth.
- Check how tight the piercing is on a regular basis, but do so only with your clean hands. This helps to prevent any unwanted swelling as well as any possibility of choking due to the jewelry never dislodging from its place.
- If you practice any sport you may want to remove the jewelry from the piercing to avoid any damage to your mouth, in addition, you should use a mouth guard.
- Make sure you schedule regular appointments with your dentist and also brush your teeth after every meal and floss on a daily basis.