Oral piercing is a form of body modification that involves the insertion of jewelry into various parts of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, cheeks, and uvula. While oral piercings are popular among many individuals, they can also pose various risks and complications. In this blog, we will discuss what you should know about oral piercing.
The Risks of Oral Piercing
While oral piercings may look stylish and trendy, they can cause several health complications, including:
- Infections: Oral piercings can easily get infected due to the bacteria present in the mouth. Infections can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding.
- Damage to teeth and gums: Oral piercings can cause tooth and gum damage. The jewelry can rub against the gums, causing them to recede, or damage the tooth enamel, leading to decay and tooth sensitivity.
- Nerve damage: Oral piercings can damage the nerves in the tongue or lips, causing numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the area.
- Choking: Accidentally swallowing the jewelry or biting down on it can cause choking or choking hazards.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to the metals used in the jewelry, which can cause swelling, pain, and itching.
How to Care for Oral Piercings
If you decide to get an oral piercing, it’s essential to take proper care to reduce the risk of complications. Here are some tips for caring for oral piercings:
- Keep it clean: Clean the piercing with a saline solution or antiseptic mouthwash twice a day to prevent infections.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy or acidic foods for at least 24 hours after getting a piercing. These substances can irritate the piercing and slow down the healing process.
- Be gentle: Avoid playing with the piercing or moving it around, as this can damage the tissue and delay the healing process.
- Watch for signs of infection: If you notice redness, swelling, pain, or discharge from the piercing, contact your piercer or a medical professional immediately.
- Be patient: Oral piercings can take several weeks to heal, and during this time, you should avoid any strenuous physical activity or contact sports.
Should You Get an Oral Piercing?
Before deciding to get an oral piercing, it’s essential to consider the risks and complications that come with it. If you’re prone to infections or have a medical condition that affects your immune system, it may not be safe to get an oral piercing. Additionally, some professions, such as those in the healthcare or foodservice industries, may not allow visible piercings due to health and safety concerns.
Oral piercings can be an attractive form of body modification, but they can also pose several risks and complications. If you’re considering getting an oral piercing, it’s essential to weigh the risks and take proper care of the piercing to minimize the chances of infection or damage. If you experience any problems with your piercing, contact your piercer or medical professional immediately.
The healing time for an oral piercing can vary depending on the location of the piercing and the individual’s healing process. Generally, it can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks for the piercing to fully heal. During this time, it’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions to prevent infection and promote healing.
It’s generally not recommended to get an oral piercing during pregnancy due to the risk of infection and complications. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect the healing process, making it more difficult for the piercing to heal properly. It’s best to wait until after pregnancy to get an oral piercing.
In some cases, oral piercings can cause speech problems, particularly if the piercing is located on the tongue. This is because the jewelry can interfere with the movement of the tongue and make it difficult to form certain sounds. However, this is not always the case, and many people with oral piercings do not experience speech problems.
Once the piercing has fully healed, it’s generally safe to change the jewelry. However, it’s important to use high-quality, sterile jewelry and to follow proper hygiene practices when changing the jewelry. It’s also recommended to wait until the piercing has fully healed before changing the jewelry to avoid causing irritation or delaying the healing process.