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The Pros And Cons Of Oral Jewelry

Oral piercing is the piercing of the tongue, lips, and cheek. While it has been associated with self-expression especially among teens, it has become so popular that it has raised concerns within the medical and dental sectors regarding the medical risks posed to the individuals.


The most common jewelry used in oral piercing include barbells of various sizes, studs, labrettes with a single stud and hoops. Oral piercing constitutes minor surgical procedures. This could be a dangerous reality since most of the artists performing these surgical procedures have had no formal training in skin care, sterilization or cross infection control among other practices. This makes them naïve of the risk of infections control which is a major problem.


Oral piercing is not a recommended practice, but if an individual insists, it would be best for them to opt for plastic-based jewelry as opposed to the metallic ones. This is because of the many complications that that come along with the practice. The immediate complications are pain and swelling of the site of piercing. If not carefully done, there may be cases of excessive bleeding and also infections on the sites. That is why it is recommended to take antibiotics to minimize the risk of infections.

Oral Jewelry 1
Oral Jewelry

Adverse Oral And Systematic Complications

If the practice is not well carried out, the oral piercing may cause teeth fractures, gingival recession, periodontal diseases, oral infections, oral allergies, abrasion among others.


Abrasion: Most people have cases of rattling the piercings on the teeth. This may cause abrasion of your teeth. Abrasion in simple words can be permanent loss of tooth structure. It leads to sensitivity issues and damage to the nerves.

Cause Increase Of Saliva Flow: You might find yourself drooling unexpectedly soon after getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Fractures: Wearing of oral jewelry may lead to chipping and fracturing of the teeth as well as damaging of or fracture to crowns and tooth bridges. This could lead to tooth extraction in severe cases.

Speech Impediment: Some jewelry such as barbells, may alter the movement of the tongue hence interfering with your speech.

Infections: The site of piercing could experience bacterial infections. Inadequate sterilization could lead to severe infections.

Allergic Rreactions: If your skin is allergic to some metals, then expect to develop allergic complications if the oral jewelry you want to wear is made of the same metals.

Gingival Recession: Oral jewelry increases the risk of developing gingival recession in the lower lingual region. Gingival recession increases the risk of sensitivity, root caries and could also lead to a poor aesthetic appearance.


But there are steps that you may take to ensure that you have your oral jewelry fixed well and avoid future oral issues. They include:

  • Opt for plastics especially if the oral jewelry will be close to your teeth.
  • Piercing of the tongue and areas like the floor of your mouth increases the risk of bacterial infections, so try as much as possible to avoid them.
  • The most important measure to observe is to make sure your piercing is done at a reputable institution that follows infection control measures as well as being experienced.
  • Follow routine oral hygiene in addition to disinfecting your oral jewelry regularly.
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