Is Your Teenager Set On A Mouth Piercing? Know These Potential Health Risks

When your child tells you that they want to get a piercing in or on their mouth, you may find yourself wondering what the point is of seemingly damaging their otherwise perfect face. Even further, you may wonder about the potential health consequences of having metal piercings on the lip, tongue, or in the area immediately surrounding the mouth. Get to know some of the important facts about mouth and facial piercings so that you can make the right decision for you and your child. 

Piercings Really Can Break Teeth

When a person gets a large piercing on their tongue or bottom lip, there are inherent risks. Of course, there are always risks with any piercings, like infection or an allergic reaction to the metal in the stud or ring. 

However, piercings that put hard metal in close proximity to teeth can have catastrophic consequences. Many people who have studs in their bottom lip will chew on or play with the metal when they are bored, nervous, or thinking.

If they trip and fall while doing so, their teeth can shatter instantly. And even if they do not trip and fall, the constant pressure of chewing on metal can cause minor damage to teeth than can lead to cracks, chipping, or shattering over time. 

When teeth shatter, there is often very little salvageable tissue, and the gums also get damaged in the process. A periodontist, like those at Periodontal Specialists, will need to work with a dentist skilled in tooth replacement to help rebuild the gum tissue and make it possible to replace the damaged and missing teeth. 

Infections Frequently Occur

Gum tissue is extremely sensitive and the tissues in the tongue even more so. This makes them susceptible to infection when trauma occurs to those tissues. 

With piercings, the trauma is meant to be controlled. This means that the process is to be as sterile as possible. However, not all piecing parlors meet standards for sterilizing their equipment. As such, the transmission of infections like HIV and hepatitis are increased.

Not only that, but once the piercing is in, an infection could develop as the wound heals and scar tissue forms. These infections can cause an abscess (a growth filled with infected pus) to form. Infections in the gums and tongue can quickly spread to other areas of the body through the bloodstream. This can cause irreparable damage to the mouth and other areas of the body.

In the case of an infection, the piercing often needs to be removed completely and high doses of antibiotics administered. Additionally, periodontal work to remove damaged gum tissue and to help rebuild the gums around the teeth and roots may also be necessary.

Now that you know more about the risks of piercings in this delicate area of the body, you can sit down and talk to your child seriously about the potential trouble they may have. Dentists and periodontists alike have seen many patients with piercing accidents and issues in their offices, and you may want to spare your child such visits. However, whatever decision you and your child make, you now know what to look out for to keep them healthy and safe.