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Everyone wants to find ways to express their individuality. And, one of the ways that many people choose to express that individuality is through their lips or tongue. If you choose that form of self-expression, you may want to review the risks involved with oral piercing.

One of the biggest dangers in oral piercings is that of infection, No one wants to hear this, but our mouths are full of bacteria. Piercing your tongue or your lips increases the chances of an oral infection. You should follow the instructions about keeping your piercings clean, especially the jewelry itself. If a blood vessel is punctured, you could experience excessive bleeding. Metal piercings can cause your gums to recede and can damage the other soft tissue in your mouth. Any wound or opening in your mouth can allow bacteria to enter your system and cause an infection.

So, keep in mind that oral piercings can increase your risk of hepatitis, and endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the tissue and valves in your heart. If the metal barbell in your tongue repeatedly strikes your front teeth, it can push them out of alignment, and can also chip your teeth. If you are considering piercing your lips or tongue, you should talk with your dentist about the possible harmful effects. If you decide to move ahead with your piercing, you should let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment after your piercing for an exam. By carefully following your dentist’s instructions, you can lessen your chances of damage or infection from your piercing.

You should always make time to see your dentist at least twice a year, whether you have piercings or not. Your dentist needs to see you for your regular cleanings and exams, and if necessary to make sure that your piercings are not causing you problems. If you live in the Tucson, Arizona area and would like to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Lawrence Gerhart at Lawrence Gerhart DDS, call 520-326-5442 today.