Piercing and orthodontics

Par Dr. Normand Bach 27/03/2018

You may not see the connection between the two, but there definitely is one! This article is for anyone thinking about getting a tongue or lip piercing. If you’ve already done it, you may find some useful information here regarding your oral health!

Understanding the risks

Piercing entails introducing a foreign body—usually metallic—into the skin or other tissue, like the tongue. Although problems are rare, it’s still important to understand the risks associated with getting a piercing before going ahead with it. The consequences of a piercing on oral-dental health are not necessarily immediate and can go unnoticed if you aren’t on the lookout for them. The fact is that the clasp of a piercing in the upper or lower lip can rub against the teeth. In addition to the risks of allergic reactions and bacterial or viral infections, this friction between the clasp and the teeth can, over time, lead to the following problems:

  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Loose teeth
  • Gingivitis
  • Chipped or broken teeth

Advice for those planning to get a piercing

  1. After being informed of the possible risks, if you still plan to get your tongue or lip pierced, make sure to have it done by a conscientious professional who observes strict sanitary practices. The person who’s going to insert your ring or labret must thoroughly disinfect the area to be pierced, wear gloves and use sterile equipment, among other precautions.
  2. Another good thing to do before getting a piercing is to make an appointment with a dentist. He or she can determine the precise spot to place the piercing in order to minimize its impact on your oral health. A dentist is also a reliable source of information and advice on proper hygiene, contraindications and risks of piercing.

Tips on reducing risks after getting a piercing

  1. The mouth is a warm, wet environment that favors the growth of bacteria and, by extension, the development of infections. To reduce the risks, consider rinsing out your mouth regularly. The best way is to use an antiseptic mouthwash like Chlorhexidine.
  2. Another way you can minimize the problems linked to a tongue or lip piercing is to avoid playing with the piercing, as much as possible. Right after getting a piercing, it may be especially tempting to play with the ring or stud. However, this can be very damaging to your gums or tooth enamel.
  3. To make sure that your piercing isn’t detrimental to your oral-dental hygiene, it’s a good idea to follow up with your dentist after you have it done.

Mouth piercing is a time-honored traditional practice that is becoming increasingly popular with the young and not-so-young of today’s society. Since it doesn’t look like this trend is going to go away anytime soon, it’s best to know the associated risks. If you ever decide to give in to the temptation, your dentist is the best person to go to for sound advice.

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