Oral Piercings And Dental Health: Risks & Tips For Young Adults

Oral Piercings And Dental Health: Risks & Tips For Young Adults

Oral piercings, whether the tongue, lips, or cheeks, have become a popular form of self-expression among young adults. However, while they can be a unique way to showcase personality and style, they also come with potential risks to dental health. Read on for more on the risks and how to care for your piercings without compromising your oral health.

The Risks of Oral Piercings

The potential side effects of oral piercings include:


The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, making oral piercings susceptible to infections. If not properly cleaned, a new piercing can become a portal for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, leading to pain, swelling, and even more severe health issues.

Damage to Teeth and Gums

Frequent contact between jewellery and oral surfaces can lead to chips or cracks in teeth. For those with softer enamel, this risk is even higher. A piercing can also cause gum recession, exposing teeth roots to potential decay and sensitivity.

Nerve Damage

A tongue piercing, in particular, can cause temporary or permanent nerve damage. This might affect your sense of taste or the way you move your mouth.

Allergic Reactions

Not all jewellery is created equal. Some metals, like nickel, can cause allergic reactions, leading to discomfort and swelling.

Prolonged Bleeding

If a piercing hits a blood vessel, it can cause bleeding that’s difficult to control.

Difficulty with Daily Oral Functions

Oral piercings can interfere with speech, chewing, and swallowing and increase saliva production.

Tips for Maintaining Oral Health with Piercings

If you’re considering an oral piercing or already have one, here are some tips to help you manage the risks:

  1. Choose a Reputable Piercer:Ensure that your piercer is licensed and follows all safety guidelines, including using sterile equipment. A professional piercer will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions.
  2. Opt for Safe Materials:When choosing jewellery, opt for materials that are less likely to cause allergic reactions, such as surgical stainless steel, titanium, or gold. Avoid cheap or novelty jewellery that can easily break or cause allergic reactions.
  3. Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene:Keeping your mouth clean is essential when you have an oral piercing. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Consider using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth.
  4. Perform Regular Cleaning of the Jewellery:Clean your jewellery according to the piercer’s instructions to remove any buildup of food or bacteria. This often involves using a saline solution or gentle soap.
  5. Monitor for Signs of Trouble:Keep an eye on your piercing for signs of infection like redness, swelling, pain, or unusual discharge. If you notice any unusal symptoms, consult a healthcare professional.
  6. Check for Jewellery Security Regularly:Loose jewellery can increase the risk of swallowing or choking if it comes out. Make sure that the ends of your jewellery are secure.
  7. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups:Regular visits to the dentist can detect any problems early before they become serious. Be sure to tell your dentist about your piercings.
  8. Be Patient with Healing:Oral piercings can take anywhere from four weeks to several months to heal completely. Follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions closely and avoid playing with the jewellery during this time.
  9. Eat Soft Foods:After getting a piercing, stick to soft foods to reduce pain and the risk of injury. Avoid spicy, salty, or acidic foods that can irritate the piercing.
  10. Consider the Long-Term:Remember that the decision to get an oral piercing is not just a fashion statement – it’s a long-term commitment to maintaining that area of your body. Regularly evaluate whether your lifestyle and oral care regimen are compatible with keeping your piercing.


Oral piercings can be an exciting form of self-expression, but they come with responsibilities, particularly concerning oral health. By being aware of the risks and taking proactive steps to manage them, you can ensure that your style choices don’t harm your dental health. Always consider professional advice from both piercers and dental health providers to make informed and safe choices about oral piercings.

At Affinity Dental, we are dedicated to making dental care accessible and affordable for you and your family. When you choose one of our dental plans, you can access a vast network of over 2,000 skilled and professional dentists. Our benefits include mouth examination, scale and polish, intraoral radiographs, infection control, and more. Contact Affinity Dental for helpful advice on which dental plan best suits you and your family, and visit a network Dentist for more ways to keep your smile healthy.

If you would like to leave a comment


Enter your keyword