It’s not unusual for people to have piercings in areas other than their ears. But when it comes to your dental care needs, your dentist is typically going to advise against getting oral piercings. Piercing the tongue, lips, or cheeks can have a direct impact on your ability to keep your mouth healthy and clean.

How Oral Piercings Can Cause Dental Care Problems

Piercing the tongue, cheeks, or lips can easily interfere with chewing and swallowing because they get in the way of the natural movements of your mouth. This makes every day eating and drinking more difficult. 

In addition, the naturally moist environment of your mouth can make it all too easy for an infection to occur because it provides the breeding ground for bacteria. This could lead to swelling, bleeding, or discharge from the pierced area.

dental care

Some people are prone to biting or fiddling with their oral piercings. This can crack or scratch the teeth, even causing damage to fillings. These scratches and scrapes make it easier for bacteria to get through the protective enamel layer and form cavities. Gum recession and laceration are also common because piercings will often scratch against the gums. 

Extra Precautions If You Want to Keep Your Piercings

While most dentists recommend avoiding oral piercings altogether, they can still be worn safely if you take some precautions. Use mouthwash after every meal to keep the piercing site clean and eliminate any food debris from the jewelry. Always remove your oral piercing before participating in sporting events to avoid the risk of accidentally swallowing it or choking on it.

If you notice signs of an infection around the site of your piercing, such as swelling, pain, and redness, seek medical attention immediately. Infections in the mouth can quickly become life-threatening, as the bacteria can spread through the bloodstream to affect other parts of the body.


From routine dental care to teeth whitening, Stacy Lesley DDS in Concord, NC, will keep your smile bright and healthy. Serving area residents since 2010, her dental office provides evening hours on Wednesdays and early morning hours on Fridays to better meet your busy schedule. To learn more about their services or to schedule an appointment, visit them online or call (704) 766-1488.