Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

Oral Piercings and Tooth Decay

Is your daughter thinking of getting a tongue ring? For some teenagers, having a tongue or lip pierced is seen as a fashion statement. But for dentists and some parents, it’s a nightmare.

Piercings and tattoos became really popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, as part of the alternative music scene. In other words, the trend has been around long enough for experts to get a good look at the effects.

Studies show piercings in the mouth can lead to a number of problems. For one, chipped teeth can result from the constant friction caused by the metal stud or ring against the teeth. To make matters worse, those with pierced tongues tend to roll the jewelry around in the mouth, adding to the irritation.

Oral piercings can also lead to inflammation or infections. Think about it. The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. When you pierce a hole in this area, it increases the chances of bacteria getting deep into the skin. Especially when the pierced area is just healing, the wearer can be at risk for an infection that could enter the bloodstream.

Another potential issue is gum problems, ranging from mild irritation to full blown periodontitus, when the gums separate from the teeth and form deep pockets and decay. It is not uncommon to see teenagers with oral piercings having to have root canal work because of all the gum and tooth problems, sometimes manifesting in just a matter of months.

What can you do to keep problems at bay? Well, Marietta dentists recommend extra care in cleaning the teeth and mouth to decrease the risk of infection. An antiseptic mouthwash could also help. If at all possible, the rings or studs should be removed during meals and at night. Finally, frequent dental checkups are recommended to make sure gums and teeth remain healthy.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental

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