Oral piercing and dental jewelry have become part of the culture of today’s youth (and not so youth). But the popularity of this practice does not eliminate the consequences it has on teeth, gums and overall health.
For oral piercing carries inevitable risks.
Piercing the skin is not a harmless act    
Pierced skin systematically increases the chances of contracting infections. This is true whether we are talking about a cut on the finger or a puncture on the calf.
The mouth is a warm, moist place that naturally harbors thousands of bacteria. Making a puncture in this area by definition makes it more susceptible to infection.
It is not impossible for the piercing to affect the tongue, lips, and the inside of the cheeks and chin, since these have multiple blood vessels and nerves running through them.
Complications specific to oral piercing
Localized pain, hematoma, swelling or mild infection are generic consequences of the aftermath of body piercing.
The Ordre des hygiénistes dentaires du Québec also reports the following potential dangers:
- Severe infection with the presence of pus and fever
- Predisposition to systemic infections such as tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C
- Anaphylactic shock or metal poisoning
- Sepsis or transmission of bacteria to vital organs through the bloodstream
- Pathological cicatrisation
In the mouth, tissues, nerves and blood vessels can be torn. This can lead to:
- Significant and uncontrollable hemorrhage
- Paresthesia (loss of feeling or numbness)
Oral consequences following a piercing
- Gingival recession
- Increased tissue volume around the stem
- Dental trauma: enamel wear, fracture, sensitivity
- Modification of the position of the teeth caused by the light pressure of the jewel on them
- Language mobility impeded
What about dental jewelry?
Le bijou dentaire est aussi une tendance. The most discreet is the rhinestone, which is a small diamond glued to the visible side of a tooth. Slightly more voluminous, the Twinkle takes various shapes: star, heart, dolphin, etc.
These ornaments are cemented with the same surgical glue used to attach orthodontic braces.
The placement does not damage the enamel and is not permanent; the jewelry can be removed at any time and will leave no trace.
Risks associated with dental ornaments
- Possibility of ingesting the jewelry if it falls off unexpectedly
- Accumulation of plaque around the stone
- Persistent bad breath due to bacteria build-up
- Irritation or damage to surrounding mucous membranes: inside of lips, tongue
The Quebec Order of Dentists  does not recommend dental jewelry or oral piercings. But if you want to go ahead with such a procedure, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist. He or she will be able to advise you to avoid unfortunate situations.
- A dental ornament should be placed and removed by a qualified dentist
- Make sure your piercing technician is qualified
- Your buckle must be designed from surgical steel, to avoid rejection and allergy risk
- The area treated must be properly disinfected
- The tools used for the procedure must be single-use and sterilized
- The piercing room must be aseptic
The decision to proceed with the procedure must imperatively be preceded by a posed assessment of the possible risks associated with piercing.
Following such a procedure, oral hygiene must be rigorous and meticulous, for dental health, but also to prevent the complications mentioned above.
 Doctissimo. Révision médicale 2015. Mis à jour 2019 – Communiqué du Docteur Jean-Baptiste Kerbrat, secrétaire général de la Fédération Française d’Orthodontie – Fédération Française d’orthodontie – mai 2009.
 Ordre des dentistes du Québec
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