Oral Piercings

About Oral Piercing

Oral piercing involving the tongue, lips or cheeks has become a popular practice. Many side effects, ranging from discomfort to serious health hazards, can result from these procedures. Anyone thinking about oral piercing should consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

Common Oral Piercing Sites

Oral piercing sites include the tongue, the uvula (the soft tissue hanging at the back of the mouth), the lower and upper lips, the cheeks or even a combination of these sites. The tongue, being the most common area, is usually pierced in the middle, towards the tip. It may be pierced through its width, from right to left, or through its thickness.

Reasons for Intra-Oral Piercing

  • Cosmetic and aesthetic reasons
  • Religious or cultural reasons
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Enhance sexual feeling
  • Sensation of pain

How Oral Piercing is Done

Oral piercing is usually done without anesthetic. In tongue piercing, a needle is used to insert a barbell-shaped piece of jewelry through the middle of the tongue. At first a temporary, oversized piece of jewelry is used to accommodate the swelling. After several weeks, a barbell is inserted into the hole and a ball is screwed onto the stem. If no complications arise, healing takes four to six weeks.

In lip or cheek piercing, a cork is held inside the mouth to support the tissue as it's pierced with a needle. The needle is then replaced with a stud or hoop. Healing time ranges from weeks to months.

  • Oral piercing is frequently done by unlicensed practitioners who are often self trained.
  • Infection control standards should be followed. These are: disposable gloves, sterile or disposable instruments and sterilized jewelry.
  • Jewelry includes studs, hoops and barbell shaped devices. Surgical grade stainless steel, 14-karat gold or niobium oral jewelry is recommended. The device must be removable.
  • Local anesthetic (freezing) is generally not used.
  • A needle, of the same shape and size as the device being inserted into the tissues, placed inside a plastic sheath punctures the tongue. The needle is then removed, leaving in the sheath until a temporary device is placed.
  • The temporary device must be longer than the permanent device in order to allow immediate and increasing swelling of the tongue. Surgical removal of the device is necessary if swelling imbeds it into the tongue.
  • Within 3-6 weeks, a permanent device is then placed and constantly worn to avoid closure of the perforation.

Problems That May Be Encountered

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Pain, swelling, infection due to digital manipulation (handling) of the jewelry and large amounts of bacteria in the mouth, increased salivary flow, and redness due to the high blood flow to the tongue.

Risks Include:

  • Transmission of diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes Simplex Virus, Tetanus.
  • Prolonged bleeding if blood vessels are punctured.
  • Hazard to the airway by swelling of the tongue or aspiration of the jewelry.
  • Allergy to metals and galvanic currents.
  • Loss of taste, mobility and numbness of the tongue.
  • Constant irritation to the oral tissues, including gingival injury.
  • Difficulty with mastication, speech and swallowing.
  • Abrasion and fracture of the dentition and restorations.
  • Damage to the pulp of the tooth.
  • Obstruction of radiographs of the oral cavity and skull.
  • Prevents proper oral examination.

Our Opinion :

Our office along with the American Dental Association opposes the practice of oral piercing and considers it a public health hazard.That is the question you must ask yourself if are considering this procedure.

We do not see any benefits of this practice. Why would anyone want to put him or herself at any risk of possibly becoming more susceptible to infectious diseases, along with the danges of 'swallowing' these objects.

That is the question you must ask yourself if are considering this procedure.

!!!!!!! We do not recommend ' Oral Piercing' of any kind !!!!!!

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