An oral piercing is any piercing in your lip, tongue or cheek. As with pierced ears, the metal jewelry used in oral piercings comes in different styles, such as barbells, studs and rings. However, piercing your tongue, lips or cheek involves a much higher health risk than piercing your ears. Before you decide to move forward with an oral piercing, you should be aware of the potential side effects associated with mouth jewelry.
These risks and possible side effects include:
Pain and swelling: These are the two most common outcomes of an oral piercing. While both generally subside within a few days to several weeks after the piercing, in severe cases, an extremely swollen tongue can actually obstruct your airway and impact your breathing.
If you already have an oral piercing
If you do get an oral piercing, you should receive a thorough oral examination of your gums and teeth to identify problem areas. Taking precautions now will increase your chance of keeping your teeth healthy and intact throughout your lifetime. First and foremost, you must keep your jewelry clean. This involves brushing the jewelry after every meal, just as you would your own teeth.
Here are some other tips:
Use antiseptic mouthwashes Remove jewelry at night and clean it under running water Remove jewelry when eating, sleeping or exercising Place a smaller barbell on your tongue to help minimize contact with your teeth and interference with chewing
As long as your mouth stays free from infection and your oral piercing does not interfere with your normal oral function, you can wear mouth jewelry safely. However, due to the risks involved even after the initial wound has healed, such as damage to your teeth and jewelry that may become loose and gets ingested, it is a good idea to avoid oral piercings entirely.