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Oral piercings are increasingly popular fashion accents, similar to earrings. But piercings on the tongue, cheeks, and lips are riskier than those in the ears. This is because your mouth has millions of bacteria living in it, which increases your odds of infection from a piercing.

Some of the risks you are inviting in addition to infection include serious blood loss if a blood vessel is accidentally punctured during the piercing procedure. Another risk is swelling of the tongue which can block your airway. More commonly though is tooth damage. Chips, cracks, and even crowns or fillings can be damaged from metal piercings. If your gums recede because of the metal, you risk gum disease and tooth decay. Even chewing and swallowing may be impacted if you have constant saliva production from the jewelry.

Serious diseases have been linked to oral piercings, including hepatitis, and endocarditis which is inflammation of the heart tissues or valves. These are borne as oral bacteria travels through the bloodstream from the piercing hole.

As you can see, oral piercings come with great risk, even after the wound heals. If you ever notice infection in the piercing area, including pain and swelling, call us right away. The same goes if they are accompanied by fever, chills, or see red streaks along the piercing site.

A piercing involves proper, constant care to keep it from harming your smile. Keep it as clean as possible and avoid contact with the teeth from the jewelry. Take it out when you participate in impact sports and wear a protective mouthguard.

We urge you to speak with our dentist before you decide to have your mouth pierced. For questions or concerns about your smile, please give us a call at 212-265-8291. Our dentist, Dr. Robert Marder, is here to help you maintain your best oral health. At Robert W Marder DMD, PLLC in New City, New York, we look forward to seeing you smile!