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  • 10 February 2016

  • Aesthetic and functional dentistry, Family dentistry

Oral piercings and dental jewellery

Oral piercings are a trend that is gaining in popularity. It’s not uncommon to see piercings of the tongue and lips, and sometimes the cheek, lingual or labial frenulum, and, in rare cases, even the uvula. However, this procedure is far from being risk-free.

The mouth is a moist environment that is rife with bacteria; as such, it is the perfect breeding ground for infection. The mouth also contains numerous blood vessels and major nerves, in addition to a very delicate mucous membrane that is more easily damaged than the skin.

The risks and complications related to lip and tongue piercings range from abnormal dental wear and tooth fractures to receding gums and severe systemic infections.

Dental jewellery must be applied in a sterile, hygienic environment, and only after a complete dental examination by a professional. You should also expect that the jewellery will have to be removed for certain dental treatments, as it will get in the way of the professionals’ work if it is left in place. The presence of metal can also distort dental x-rays.

It’s best to be properly informed before making any decision. Do not hesitate to consult a professional who can advise you of all the risks, complications, precautions and long-term effects.

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