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Oral Piercing Care: What You Need to Know
Dec 12, 2018

Oral piercings are a cosmetic form of self-expression. If cared for correctly, your oral piercing will cause minimal to no problems for you, but if not, it could be dangerous to your health. Here’s how to properly care for your oral piercing throughout its lifetime.

Your mouth contains millions of bacteria. Swelling, infections, and further damage can occur if you do not clean and care for your oral piercings. Think of your oral piercing as an open wound that must form protective tissue and heal. To ensure a successful start and to avoid infection, diligence within the first four weeks after the piercing is of utmost importance.

Oral Care Immediately After Piercing

DO:

  • Wash your hands really well before you clean or touch your piercing.
  • Use warm salt water or an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash and rinse your piercing after every meal or snack for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse your mouth immediately when you wake up and right before going to bed.
  • Floss daily, and gently brush your teeth, tongue, and jewelry when possible.
  • Eat small bites of healthy food.
  • Occasionally remove your piercing for small amounts of time.

DO NOT:

  • Use an alcohol-based mouth rinse.
  • Come into contact with others’ saliva.
  • Share cups, plates, forks, knives, or spoons with anyone.
  • Kiss anyone during the healing period.
  • Drink hot drinks.
  • Eat spicy, salty, or acidic foods and drinks.

Oral Piercing Care Moving Forward

DO:

Wash your hands before touching your piercing for any reason.
Replace larger jewelry with smaller pieces that are less likely to bump into your teeth.
Take the jewelry out every night and brush it.
Take the jewelry out before doing anything active.

You may experience problems even if you take good care of your piercing. Your mouth is a hot, warm environment perfect for breeding bacteria. (In some people with heart disease, bacteria can cause further damage to your heart valves; ask your doctor before getting a piercing.) Beside infection and disease, you may experience tongue swelling, which may inhibit your breathing. Your tongue is also comprised of many blood vessels, so bleeding isn’t uncommon.

The jewelry itself could also cause a host of problems. Worst-case scenario: it may break off in your mouth and cause you to choke. More common issues include chipping teeth while you eat, drink, talk, or sleep. If you accidentally bite down on the piercing and break your tooth, you may need a root canal to fix it.

  • Common problems with oral piercings:
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing
  • Tongue swelling
  • Increased saliva production
  • Damage to tongue, teeth, fillings, and gums
  • Allergic reaction to the jewelry
  • Difficulty in taking mouth X-rays
  • Gum disease
  • Bleeding
  • Long-term infection and disease

If you experience any irritation or uncomfortable side effects from your oral piercing, please don’t hesitate to contact us at The Dental Care Center.