Piercings have gained a lot of prominence over the last decade or so, becoming more socially acceptable than some people ever thought possible. These days, seeing teenagers walk around with metal accessories in various places is no longer shocking. Even adults are opting for self-expression through tattoos and body piercings, now more than in previous decades. One common practice is piercing oral structures (i.e., lips, tongue, cheek, etc.), sometimes in multiple places. Widely accepted, however, does not equal safe. Your Grinnell Street Dentists lists some of the dangers of oral piercings to your oral health.
Facts About Your Oral Piercing
- Wherever you decide to place a piercing, you create an open wound. Oral piercings create open wounds in your oral cavity, which is also where 10-15 billion bacteria live and thrive.
- The bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) is suspected to be the main culprit in gum disease. The presence of P. gingivalis incites your body’s inflammatory response to infection. If this bacterium enters your bloodstream through an oral wound, it will promote inflammation in every tissue with which it comes in contact. Improperly cleaned piercing equipment and jewelry can also lead to infections within the wound and possibly transmit diseases.
- 40-50% of people who have had an oral piercing for more than two years have experienced gum recession. When your gums recede, they expose the roots of your teeth, which have no other protection. Teeth roots aren’t covered by protective enamel, as are the crowns. Bacteria can easily attack exposed roots and lead to extreme tooth sensitivity and decay.
- As jewelry bumps against teeth, the continuous impact can create small cracks and fissures in a tooth’s enamel. Bacteria can slip past these cracks to the interior of a tooth and cause infection.
Not everybody who receives an oral piercing experiences any of the difficulties listed above, but everyone who pierces the oral cavity runs the risk. Be sure to thoroughly investigate any piercing booth or business to learn about their practice and customer satisfaction. Also, consult Dr. Coon about optimal oral health practices if you opt for a piercing. To learn more about your dental health, contact our Sheridan dental office at (307) 672-7567 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.