Our Coquitlam orthodontists generally advise against oral piercings whether you have braces or not, because there are so many health risks associated with them. But if you do have braces, there are some additional risks associated with oral piercings.
How do oral piercings negatively affect oral health?
Oral piercings increase your risk of developing many oral health and general health conditions. Some of the risks include:
- Infections: Oral piercings create a significant crevice in which bacteria can readily build up. This can be especially dangerous when the piercing hasn't finished healing yet.
- Disease Transmission: Oral piercings can increase your risk of transmitting or getting herpes simplex virus, and hepatitis B & C.
- Chipped Enamel: Metal jewelry can significantly damage your teeth, often resulting in the need for expensive dental work.
- Nerve Damage: If nerves are damaged as a result of the piercing, it can cause numbness and difficulty moving the pierced area.
- Endocarditis: When oral bacteria can enters the bloodstream via the piercing wound, it can result in endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart and/or its valves.
- Difficulty with Normal Oral Functions: Oral piercings can make chewing, talking and swallowing more difficult. Tongue piercings can also cause excessive saliva production, resulting in temporary or permanent drooling.
- Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Long-stem tongue piercings increase your risk of gum disease. This is because, when the jewelry comes into contact with the gums, it can cause injuries, resulting in gum infections and recession over time.
Oral Piercings & Orthodontics
Oral piercings can cause even more damage and health problems during orthodontic treatment.
Tongue or lip piercing may hit the braces during talking or sleep, potentially damaging them. Piercings can also interfere with tooth movement, making your orthodontic treatment less effective, or causing gaps to form between the teeth. Piercings may also interfere with or damage retainers, lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.