Oral Care and Your Piercings

by on July 4, 2013 in Cosmetic Dentistry
Oral Care and Your Piercings

Fads come and go but for many young adults, oral piercings in the tongue or cheeks are important, even claiming, “It’s a way of life.” At Fresh Pond Dental in Cambridge, we wish to ensure all our patients live that life to the fullest, enjoying good oral health

Oral Health Risks

If you are considering an oral piercing or have had one recently, there are a few health risks to consider according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD):

  • Damaged teeth
  • Endocarditis
  • Ludwig’s angina infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease
  • Swollen tongue
  • Tooth loss

Damaged or missing teeth cost thousands of dollars to fix. Infections and nerve damage have long-lasting effects. Swelling in your tongue and oral cancer are often deadly. But, most can be avoided if the right precautionary measures are taken.

Considering Oral Piercing? 

Follow these steps:

  1. Find a reputable piercing studio – Speak with past clients. Studios affiliated with the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) should practice the healthiest methods when piercing. Contact the studio yourself and check their procedural standards. 
  2. Verify the studio’s health procedures – According to the APP, the professional piercer should use “appropriate sterile, disposable instruments.” Not following this step has allowed many people to contract hepatitis and HIV due to contaminated piercing tools.
  3. Follow proper post-piercing procedures – Your piercer should provide information regarding post-piercing procedures to treat and sterilize your wound. Remember to rinse with mouthwash at least twice daily and clean your oral jewelry each time you brush. This should become a part of your daily dental healthcare.
  4. Prevent bacterial infection – Your mouth is full of bacteria, so start with something that will not provide a home for bacteria to fester. Initially get a surgical stainless steel barbell.  In addition, touching your jewelry can introduce outside bacteria that can enter the wound and your bloodstream. Do not touch the jewelry or the wound unless cleaning it while follow the proper instructions.
  5. Reduce risks of dental damage – After your body has recovered from the piercing, replace the initial jewelry with tighter-fitting pieces and balls made of acrylic. Also, while eating, piercing jewelry can damage your teeth. Remember to remove it temporarily. 
  6. See a dentist regularly – Maintain good oral health and safety by visiting your dentist in Cambridge, MA. They will provide oral examinations and knowledgeable help, especially if infections, periodontal disease, or another dental problem occurs.

If you are in the Cambridge area and would like to visit our local Fresh Pond Dental office, one of our dentists would be happy to give you a personal consultation.

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