Tongue and lip piercings are a great way to express your individuality – but be careful! The rumors are true; tongue and lip piercings can have harmful effects on your teeth and gums. The good news is, that with the proper care and advice from your dentist, you can minimize the damage and maintain a healthy smile while keeping your oral jewellery.
While the risk of infection is a well-known concern for people who have tongue and lip piercings, many don’t realize that the constant rubbing between piercings, gums and teeth can cause significant damage.
When piercings come into contact with your teeth and gums, they can wear away important protective elements.
Tongue and lip piercings that come into constant contact with gums can cause gum recession. This means that you are exposing more of the tooth’s root, making it easier for bacteria to build up and severely damage your tooth and gums. If not properly cared for, damage to the gums may result in tooth loss.
Teeth are also directly affected by piercings. When oral jewellery rubs against teeth, they can wear away the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the layer of the teeth that protects them from the damage of daily use. Wearing away enamel can leave teeth weakened and prone to deformation. It’s not unusual for people with tongue and lip piercings to experience chips or cracks in their teeth.
If you wear tongue or lip piercings and are concerned about existing or future damage, there are a few things that you can do.
It’s recommended that you remove your piercing when you eat, sleep, brush your teeth or undertake any strenuous activity. This helps avoid damage to your teeth and gums at times when you are using your mouth the most, or when you have little control over the amount of contact between your gums, teeth and piercings.
Always take your dental health into account if you wear or are considering oral piercings. Our Smile Solutions dentists are highly trained and can answer any questions you may have relating to the care of your teeth and gums with piercings.