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An oral piercing refers to any hole placed in the tongue, lips or cheek for the use of adornment. These have become a form of fashion which is trendy in some social circles. If you are thinking of getting such a piercing, however, you need to know how it may impact your dental health.

-Infection: Jewelry can welcome foreign bacteria into your mouth. This can be particularly risky if you have a tongue piercing, but any oral piercing can amplify your risk of an infection in or around the mouth.

-Excessive bleeding: If your piercing goes badly and a blood vessel is punctured, you may experience prolonged bleeding and blood loss.

-Pain and Swelling: These are actually fairly common. In extreme situations where the tongue swells up, you are even in danger of closing your breathing airways. In this case, take a trip to the ER.

-Injury to Teeth and Gums: If your tongue or the back of the jewelry that goes through your lip maintains regular contact with your teeth, your chances of suffering a chip or crack are increased. You may also find that your jewelry scratches against your soft gum tissue, causing your gums to recede.

-Interference with oral functions: Jewelry can result in overactive salivary glands, which can negatively affect how you speak, chew and swallow.

We at Kenai Dental Clinic certainly do not want to hamper your sense of free will and individuality, but considering the risks of oral piercings, we courteously advise you to find another way to communicate your character. Should you decide to move ahead with the piercing, please understand that you can always contact Dr. Glen Lockwood and the rest of our staff at Kenai Dental Clinic at the first sign of any oral problem. We are located in Kenai, Alaska and our phone number is 907-283-4875. We’d be thrilled to see you!