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  • Joe Wilson

Considering a Lip or Tongue Piercing? Better Read This First

Lip, tongue, and cheek piercings are fairly common nowadays, especially among younger adults. But even for those who are not receiving or considering orthodontic treatment, the decision to add these fashion accessories can lead to a number of serious oral health problems.

The orthodontists at Orthodontics, Inc. are frequently asked by our patients or their family members about whether oral piercings can affect our treatment as well as their overall health. We discuss the potential risks — which are heightened for those with braces that can be damaged by these accessories. Some of the most basic functions of our mouth and teeth can be interfered with by piercings, including chewing, swallowing and tasting our food.

Tongue piercings can permanently damage the teeth through chipping and cracking, as well as by eroding the enamel — the protective coating on our teeth — by the jewelry constantly coming in contact with the teeth. Likewise, abrasion or recession of the gum tissue can result from the repeated contact with piercings. The uvula, the soft tissue at the back of the throat that serves a protective function, can similarly be damaged.

Our mouths are home to many different types of bacteria, and piercings can create pathways for germs to enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of swelling and infection. Fillings can also be damaged by the presence of these foreign objects, and the mouth may produce an excess amount of saliva, resulting in annoying and unsightly drooling.

If you or a family member is considering braces or other orthodontic treatments and has concerns about oral piercings, come in to see the experts at Orthodontics, Inc.. Our orthodontic specialists are uniquely trained to ensure the proper fit and function of our patients’ teeth, and to protect their oral health. Please contact our office today for an appointment; we’ll give you something to smile about!

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