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Warn Your Teen about the Dangers of Oral Piercings

February 8, 2018

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Did you know that surveys of adolescents and young adults (age 13 – 29) report that 25% to 35% have a body piercing at a site other than the ear lobe? With the rise of oral piercings, many teens are piercing their tongues and lips to enjoy a fashion trend. But, an oral piercing can present real danger to the mouth, tongue and teeth of its owner.  

Oral Piercings:  

Cause Cracked Teeth 

Studies have found permanent tooth damage occurred to 25% of adolescents with lip rings, and nearly 50% of teenagers with tongue piercings suffered permanent tooth damage. In addition to tooth damage, those with oral piercings have a greater risk of suffering nerve damage, oral infection, pain and swelling.

Contribute to Gum Recession

According to studies done, lip and tongue piercings have particularly strong correlations to gingival disease and gum recession. If you want your children to have healthy gums, and to avoid gum disease, then urge them to rethink getting an oral piercing.  

Blood-borne Diseases

In addition to mouth pain and sensitivity, oral piercings can lead to blood-borne diseases. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified oral piercings as a possible factor in transmitting hepatitis B, C, D and G.

Makes Sports More Dangerous

Oral and dental injuries are some of the most common injuries in adolescents. If your child has an oral piercings like a lip or tongue ring, then they face a far greater risk of suffering a facial injury when playing sports. Urge your child to remove their oral piercing before taking part in any physical activity where contact may occur so that they can avoid a painful oral injury.

Can Lead to Oral Disease

Multiple studies have found that oral piercings can lead to gum inflammation, gingivitis, increased plaque buildup, gum recession, cavities and metal allergies. Studies have found that the place in which the piercing was performed is another key factor influencing the contraction of oral diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that unregulated piercing parlors and techniques greatly increase the chances of contracting an oral disease.

Can Damage Oral Appliances

Oral piercings commonly damage dental filling and sealants, which is painful and can be expensive to replace. Tongue and lip rings can also damage oral appliance like braces and retainers. In some cases, and lip or tongue ring can get caught in an oral appliance, which can cause bleeding and severe discomfort. If your child has an oral piercing that is stuck in their oral appliance, and you cannot dislodge it, then schedule an appointment immediately.

Oral Piercings are Not Worth the Risk

Pain, swelling and infection are common results of oral piercings. Talk to your child about the dangers of oral piercings, and about some of the potential long-term consequences of oral piercings. If they have prolonged bleeding or pain related to their oral piercing, then make an appointment with our office immediately. They may have an infection that needs to be addressed by a dentist.

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