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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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How do Oral Piercings Effect My Oral Health?

Posted on 2/8/2021 by Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
How do Oral Piercings Effect My Oral Health?With the increase in body piercings and art in recent years, it is not an odd question. While body alterations have been around for centuries, as have piercings, we have never been more able to take a look at their impact on our oral cavity health. Do they have any impact at all? Do they cause decay and disease to set in?

Oral Piercings and Their Impact

Oral piercings and body art have been forms of self-expression for centuries. They can be symbolic and meaningful to the person displaying them. While they have been around for a long time, they are still more frequently seen in adolescents and young adults, although it is increasing in frequency with adults and even the elderly. Piercings of the tongue, lip, cheek, and other soft tissues of the oral cavity can have adverse effects on the surrounding oral cavity. The tongue is still considered the most frequently pierced of those mentioned above.

Oral Piercings and Complications

Oral piercings can cause many complications. Some of those complications can be swelling at the piercing site, bleeding both at the site and along the gums, infection, damaged teeth, gum recession, lacerations, oral jewelry becoming embedded in soft tissue requiring surgery to remove, hyper salivation, discolored discharge, and even an airway obstruction.

One body modification of note is tongue splitting which involves cutting the tongue into two pieces. The patient should understand that this is considered overly invasive and potentially dangerous. Having this procedure done puts the patient at risk to experience bleeding, inflammation, and potential nerve damage. The American Dental Association warns that this particular procedure along with any intraoral or perioral procedure has far greater negative impact potential which would outweigh any potential benefit.

While body art and body modification are true methods of self-expression, the patients should be made aware of the potential health risks involved in the procedures they are considering. Please call us if you have any questions about oral piercings.

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