Oral piercings and your oral health
Oral piercings are any piercings of the tongue, lips or cheek. They are a popular form of self-expression.
Tongue and lip piercings can affect both the hard parts like your teeth and the softer parts like the inside of your cheeks and gums.
If you are thinking of getting an oral piercing, you should consider the risks involved.
- chipped or cracked teeth
- lip, gum and cheek damage
- nerve damage
- interference with speaking and swallowing
- blockage of airways from excessive swelling
- excessive bleeding
- ongoing pain.
To avoid problems with your piercing:
- Choose a professional piercer who uses proper infection control techniques.
- Do not pierce yourself or get a friend to do it.
- After piercing, rinse your mouth with anti-bacterial mouthwash regularly – especially after eating.
- Brush twice a day. Gently brush the tongue area around the piercing.
- Wash your hands before touching your piercing and check that jewellery is tight and secure.
If you have severe redness, bleeding, pain or pus around your piercing, visit your doctor or dental professional.
Also, contact your oral health professional if you notice any damage to your gums or teeth.
Mouth piercings during dental treatment
To reduce the risk of injury during dental treatment, you may be asked to remove the piercing prior to your appointment.
Where the risk of damage to the teeth or gums is great, you may be advised to consider removing the piercing permanently.
If you have any questions, please talk to your dental professional.