At Vancouver Orthodontics, we advise against oral piercings in general, whether you have braces or not. However, if you do have braces, there are some additional risks associated with oral piercings.
Why are oral piercings generally a bad idea?
In general, oral piercings come with a lot of oral health risks. That’s why, when our teen or adult patients ask us about getting oral piercings, we always strongly advise against them.
Some of the risks include:
- Infections: It’s not nice to think, but our mouths are full of bacteria. Oral piercings create another crevice of bacteria buildup.
- Disease Transmission: Oral piercings present an increased risk for the transmission of herpes simplex virus, as well as hepatitis B & C.
- Chipped Enamel: Teeth can very easily become damaged when they come into contact with metal jewelry. Chipped or cracked teeth can often result in expensive dental work.
- Nerve Damage: If the nerves are damaged during the piercing, it can result in numbness and difficulty moving the pierced area.
- Endocarditis: If the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream through the wound created by the piercing, it can lead to the development of endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart and/or its valves.
- Difficulty with Normal Oral Functions: Oral piercings can make it difficult to chew, and swallow food, and to speak. Plus, tongue piercings can cause excessive saliva production, resulting in temporary or permanent drooling.
- Increased Risk of Gum Disease: If you have an oral piercing, and in particular a long-stem tongue piercing, you’re at a greater risk of gum disease. This is because when the jewelry comes into contact with the gums, it can cause injuries resulting in infections, as well as gum recession over time.
Oral Piercings & Orthodontics
In addition to the above risks, people who have braces have even more potential problems to contend with when it comes to oral piercings.
A tongue piercing can hit the braces during talking or sleep, and damage them. It may also make braces less effective by interfering with tooth movement and even causing gaps in the teeth.
Tongue piercings can also interfere with retainers, Lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.