Complications Of Oral Piercings And Prevention Tips

786 words - 4 pages

Oral piercings are a growing trend in young adults used to represent self expression and uniqueness. Oral piercings are referred to as piercings that are inside the mouth with the most popular being the tongue. Other types include the lip, uvula, frenum, and cheeks. Oral piercings usually have a quick healing time due to their plentiful blood supply in the oral cavity; however, though piercing seems harmless due to its reversibility as compared to tattoos, there is a big concern to dental and medical professionals due to their risks and complications to health (Jannsen & Cooper, 2008).
Your mouth is an environment full of breeding bacteria causing an easy access for infection and swelling to occur. One of every five piercings results in infection from dirty puncture wounds. According to the American Dental Association an infection could become life threatening if not taken care of immediately. Consequently your mouth and tongue could swell so much causing a blockage of the airway making it difficult to breathe. It also could cause speech problems especially with S’s and T’s due to an increased saliva production from the jewelry. This can also alter taste. Piercing can furthermore cause a more likelihood of the transmission of herpes simplex virus and hepatitis B and C (Rudolph, 2013). Infection can also increase risk for endocarditis. To help prevent swelling it is recommended to allow small pieces of ice to melt in the mouth and also sleep with the head elevated above the heart for the first few days. It is crucial to not share plates, cups, and eating utensils to keep from passing bacteria. Using a salt water rinse and avoiding alcohol and spicy foods can also help decrease swelling and infection.
Another complication with oral piercings is to the teeth themselves. The continuous contact between the jewelry and teeth can cause a tooth to chip or fracture. According to a study done in a 3tend article, 47% of people wearing a tongue ring for four years or longer have atleast one chipped tooth(2013). This can also occur through the habit of playing or biting the jewelry. It also can cause teeth to become sensitive or scratched and damage fillings or porcelain crowns. One way to prevent this from happening is by using acrylic balls or barbells instead of metal ones. Avoid the...

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