Body piercings are a common form of self-expression. This post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston is for anyone who has an oral piercing or is considering one.
Our brief summary? Bad idea. Unfortunately, these piercings and the jewelry they accommodate can lead to serious issues with not only your teeth and mouth, but your entire body. Oral piercings can bring about tooth damage and decay, gum disease, bone recession, compromised immune system function and even death, though that is rare.
In general, any oral piercing opens you up to an range of potential infections and complications. The mouth is full of germs, and introducing foreign objects permanently is not natural for your body’s health.
A tongue piercing can lead to unnatural chewing patterns that may, in turn, lead to swallowing problems. The jewelry produces excess saliva from the salivary glands, which throws off the natural balance of your oral cavity. Permanent nerve weakening, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions can also arise.
Metal jewelry also can easily come in contact with your teeth, leading to cracks, chips, or other damage. Your teeth are built to last a lifetime. Damage compromises their durability and shortens their lifespan.
Complications with some piercings develop by the introduction of hepatitis and herpes simplex viruses, and even more complications have occurred with bacteria entering the bloodstream and eventually lodging in the heart valve. In rare cases, such infections are fatal.
At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we encourage patients with oral piercings to remove their jewelry. If you plan to keep yours, be sure to have regular check-ups. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today.
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