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With the growing popularity of oral piercings as fashion statements, many people are getting them. But oral piercings are different than getting your ear’s pierced because there are additional health risks involved.

Since millions of bacteria live in your mouth, mainly, which is why you brush and floss daily to reduce it because it multiplies every time you eat and drink and thereby feed this bacterial biofilm. The problem with this bacterial environment is that with oral piercings, your wound is more susceptible to infection.

But that’s not the only risk. If blood vessels in the tongue are punctured during a tongue piercing, you can incur a serious loss of blood. Also, if your tongue swells because of the piercing it can block your airways. Even more common is the risk of damage to the teeth. Knocking metal jewelry against their surface can cause cracks and chips. It can even damage dental fillings and crowns.

If the metal causes the gums to recede you are at risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Not to mention, increased saliva production as the glands are constantly being stimulated by the foreign object in your mouth. This can cause drooling along with trouble talking, swallowing and chewing.

Other risks with oral piercings include contracting hepatitis or endocarditis. These illnesses are blood-borne, where the harmful oral bacteria travel through the bloodstream from the piercing wound. So, when you get an oral piercing, you need to be ready to take care of it and look out for problems.

We strongly recommend talking with our dentist before you take on oral piercings so that you are better prepared for the risks. Please give us a call if you have any concerns, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Brent Bitner. Our Cottage Grove Dental team in Cottage Grove, Oregon, looks forward to hearing from you. Just call 541-942-7934 today!