Body piercings are an increasingly common form of self-expression. This blog post from Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH is for those who currently have an oral piercing or are considering one.
Since this is a dental blog, you may expect us to raise all sorts of alarms warning of the dangers of piercings. You are right. Unfortunately, these piercings and the jewelry they accommodate can lead to serious issues with not only your teeth and mouth, but your entire body. They can lead to tooth damage, tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth loss, bone recession, compromised immune system function and, in rare cases, death.
In general, any oral piercing is going to open you up to an array of harmful infections and complications. The mouth is full of germs, and introducing foreign objects permanently is not natural for your body’s health.
A tongue piercing can cause difficulty chewing with unnatural chewing patterns that may lead to swallowing issues. The jewelry produces excess saliva from the salivary glands, which throws off the natural balance of your oral cavity. Permanent nerve damage, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions can also occur.
Metal jewelry also can easily come in contact with your teeth, leading to cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth. Your teeth are built to last a lifetime. Chips, cracks, and enamel erosion compromise their strength and shorten their lifespan.
Complications with some piercings ensue by the introduction of hepatitis and herpes simplex viruses, and even more complications have occurred with bacteria entering the bloodstream and eventually lodging in the heart valve. In rare cases, such infections are fatal.
Though not technically a piercing, some people drill small holes in their teeth to place rhinestones or other jewelry. Drilling into a tooth is a bad idea for many reasons, including damage that can make a root canal necessary. The jewel also can attract bacteria that can directly go into the drilled cavity of the tooth.
At Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH, we encourage patients with oral piercings to remove their jewelry before it puts their health at risk. If you have an oral piercing and plan to keep it, we want you to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups. We provide family and cosmetic dentistry. Please schedule an appointment with us today.
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