The orthodontists at Coquitam Family Orthodontics advise against oral piercings in general, whether you have braces or not. If you do have braces, there are some additional risks associated with oral piercings.
Why are oral piercings generally a bad idea?
In short, oral piercings come with a lot of oral health risks. That’s why, when a patient asks us about getting an oral piercing, we always strongly advise against it.
Some oral piercing risks include:
- Infection: Our mouths are full of bacteria, and oral piercings create another crevice of bacteria buildup. This is especially dangerous when the piercing is new and hasn't healed yet.
- Disease Transmission: Oral piercings increase the risk of the transmission of herpes simplex virus, as well as hepatitis B & C.
- Chipped Enamel: Metal jewelry can damage your teeth, and chipped or cracked teeth can often result in expensive dental work.
- Nerve Damage: If the nerves are damaged during the piercing, it can result in numbness and difficulty moving the pierced area.
- Endocarditis: If oral bacteria enters the bloodstream through the piercing wound, endocarditis, the inflammation of the heart and/or its valves, can result.
- Difficulty with Normal Oral Functions: Oral piercings can make chewing, speaking and swallowing difficult. Tongue piercings can also cause excessive saliva production, resulting in temporary or permanent drooling.
- Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Oral piercings, in particular a long-stem tongue piercings, can increase your risk of gum disease. When the jewelry comes into contact with the gums, it can cause injuries, which can result in infections and gum recession over time.
Oral Piercings & Orthodontics
People who have braces have even more potential problems to contend with when it comes to oral piercings.
Tongue piercings can hit the braces during talking or sleep, and damage them. They can also make braces less effective by interfering with tooth movement, and might even causing gaps in the teeth. Tongue piercings can also interfere with retainers, Lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.