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If you are considering having an oral piercing done, you might want to reconsider. These popular oral alterations are risky, because of the environment in the mouth itself. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, so oral piercings put you at risk for infection.

If your piercing area gets infected and swells, it could close off your airway. It is also possible to crack a tooth if you accidentally bite down too hard on the piercing. Even repeatedly knocking the piercing against the teeth can create tooth damage. In some cases, the piercing could lead to hepatitis or endocarditis, serious infections.

Should you choose to pierce your tongue, cheeks, or lips, you may find it more difficult to talk, chew or swallow. Other issues that can arise with oral piercings include:

— If you have an infection with pain and swelling, it can in some cases become life-threatening without treatment. If your tongue swells, for example, you may not be able to breathe.

— Not only can piercings crack a tooth, but it can damage gum tissue, cause tooth sensitivity, and harm fillings.

— You can experience sensitivity to metals or have allergic reactions.

— You may incur nerve damage, sometimes this happens with tongue piercings, numbing the tongue permanently. This can affect your ability to taste and even how you move your mouth. If your tongue piercing damages its blood vessels you can lose a lot of blood.

— Drooling isn’t pretty, and if you have a tongue piercing you may find yourself doing just that from an overproduction of saliva.

— Routine dental appointments can be hampered if the piercing interferes with X-rays looking for problems under the surface.

If you have any concerns about your smile, please give us a call at 508-588-1400. Our dentists, Dr. Purvesh Malaviya and Dr. Mrugank Sardhara are happy to address all your oral care needs. At Creative Smiles Dental Care in Brockton, Massachusetts, we go the extra mile for your smile!