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Potential Dangers

Mouth Jewelry – are there dangers in an oral piercing procedure?

While many people (male and female) like oral piercings and believe that it will make them a different, cooler, or more fashionable person. Too few fully understand the dangers involved with the actual piercing procedure and their ongoing oral health. Knowing these risks upfront will help you make an informed decision on whether an oral piercing is a good choice for you.

The major danger associated with having an oral piercing include the following:

Piercing site infection. Infections are possible anywhere on the body if your protective skin has been opened or injured. Your mouth houses a massive quantity of bacteria which greatly increases the risk of such an infection. These infections can be very severe in people with known or unknown health problems that may not be addressed before the piercing is done.

Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding due to damaging the tongue’s blood vessels with the piercing needle.

Swelling and nerve damage in and around the pierced area. Swelling is very common after a piercing and in contrast to the ear, the tongue is rarely if ever at rest further increasing both the amount and timeframe of the swelling.

The National Institutes of Health has warned that oral piercing may be a factor in the transmission of hepatitis B,C, D, and G.

Lastly, the wound created by an oral piercing creates the risk for Endocarditis. This disease is known by the serious inflammation of the heart tissues and is caused by oral bacteria entering the bloodstream.

What are the ongoing risks of having oral jewelry?

For those of us who currently wear oral jewelry, we put ourselves at risk for the following problems: Tooth damage, including chipping or cracking existing teeth as well as damaging past restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.)

Change or interference in normal oral function can be caused by oral jewelry because it stimulates more saliva, and my get in the way of the simple process of chewing or talking.

When you visit your dentist your mouth jewelry can interfere with X-rays taken of your teeth and may limit your dentist’s ability to properly diagnose problems and recommend treatments.

Finally, as all our mothers have said, “don’t put that in your mouth or you will choke on it.” It may seem like it will never happen to you, but you do run the risk of choking on your oral jewelry if it becomes free in your mouth.


Every day adults, children and everyone in between is faced with crucial decisions about what to eat or drink and when to do so. Eating habits that are linked to good oral health include eating fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water. These foods contain less of the sugar which oral bacteria live on. Imagine, if you are always snacking on sugary foods, you are essentially creating a bacteria factory. These bacteria, in turn, are releasing acids as they consume the sugars that remain in your mouth after a snack. The acids produced by the bacteria destroy little bits of your enamel and eventually a cavity forms causing you pain and costing you money to fix.

By snacking right, drinking plenty of water, brushing twice a day, or even simply eating sugary foods only with a large meal you can reduce your risk of tooth decay and in return live a more satisfying comfortable life.


Tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless or chewing tobacco are not only addictive but are also major factors in many oral health problems. The use of any of these products greatly increases the risk of developing oral cancer and gum disease. In addition to these major risks, they commonly cause oral discomfort in the form of hot/cold sensitivity, tooth discoloration, and bad breath.