Beware the Dental Damage that Oral Piercings can Cause

Pierced LipOral piercings are not generally recommended by dentists. Creative forms of self-expression are understandable. We all want to control our fashion statements. Besides, of all of the possible bodily adornments, piercings are one of the most temporary options when compared to something like tattoos, for example. Unfortunately, when you pierce your tongue or lip, dental damage and even tooth loss can result.

Research Shows…

Research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that the constant contact between oral jewelry and gingival tissue when someone wears an oral piercing is often very likely to cause serious damage to the teeth and gums. Fractures, chips, cracks, breaks, and weakened tooth enamel are often seen in patients sporting oral jewelry. Gum recession or nerve damage are other common issues. Associate professor, Dr. John K. Brooks, of University of Maryland Dental School was at the head of research regarding dental health damage from piercings. Says Dr. Brooks, “Wearing oral piercing ornaments, even over relatively short periods, may result in significant deformities to gingival tissue (gums) that might not respond satisfactorily to surgery and, in fact, may lead to tooth loss.”

Periodontal Damage

The scientific research looked at five young adult volunteers who wore oral piercings either through their lips or tongues. Three-fifths of the participants already presented with signs of severe periodontal disease (periodontitis). Severe gum infection is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. In the case of periodontitis, your jawbone and gums separate, forming pouches known as periodontal pockets. These pockets can become infested with germs which leads to tooth abscesses and tooth loss. One 19-year-old woman who volunteered for the study had only had her piercing for five months, and yet still had significant gum recession due to her oral jewelry choices.

Visit your Katy, TX Dentist

Dr. Colin Lathrop is an experienced and widely respected family dentist serving patients in the 77494 area. Patients can contact Dr. Lathrop at 832-437-3849 to schedule an appointment or a consultation.