Oral piercing: It may be harmful to your health


A number of symptoms are common after oral piercing. They include pain, swelling, infection, an increase flow of saliva and injuries to the gums. This is because millions of bacteria living in the mouth may infect the piercing. Swelling of the tongue is a common side effect but it is possible for the tongue to swell so large enough that it blocks the airway and suppresses breathing. Piercing can also cause uncontrolled bleeding, if the blood vessel was in the pathway of the needle which may be difficult to control. Furthermore, nerves in the oral cavity could be damaged, and blood clots and poisoning could even occur.

The jewelry used could also pose problems. You can choke on it if it becomes loose in your mouth. Your teeth can chip or crack from contact with the jewelry. Your gum could become irritated by constant contact with the jewelry, and bacteria can multiply around the piercing causing bad breath. The jewelry can also cause problems with chewing, swallowing and speaking clearly, whereas the metal may also cause allergic reaction.

Other factors that need to be considered when opting for oral piercing are:

• Oral piercing is usually carried out by an unlicensed practitioner with no knowledge of the anatomy of the mouth such as location of bloods vessel or nerves.

• Infection control: how could one be sure that the instruments used were sterile? Because remember, diseases such as HIV/Aids, hepatitis are transmitted through body fluids. Unsterile instruments are therefore a mode of transmission. Sometimes we may think that wiping instruments, soaking instruments in alcohol or boiling water mean that the instruments are sterilised but this may not necessarily be the case.

• People nowadays have numerous medical conditions such as heart problem, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, poor healing and bleeding disorders that may be worsen or have fatal consequences. The unlicensed practitioners are not trained to recognise such problems and their effects on the general health.

Oral health is important for general health. The effects of oral piercing may have a greater impact than one may think. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that these side effects could happen to them. So to be on the safe side, do not pierce out of fashion.  The piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep.
Talk to your dentist for more information.


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