Be Informed About Oral Piercings
By Mina Levi, DDS 02/13/2014

Many people get piercings, but there are risks to your dental and oral health involved in getting an oral piercing that you need to know about before deciding on getting one. In the article below, we discuss risks and other information associated with oral piercings so that you can be as informed as possible.

Risks of Getting an Oral Piercings

1. Symptoms after oral piercings include pain, swelling, and increased saliva flow.  
2. The mouth is home to a large amount of bacteria even when oral hygiene is readily executed, and infections occur readily after an oral piercing. Although not as common, severe infections such as hepatitis or endocarditis can occur as a result of an oral piercing.
3. Piercers do not typically have training in anatomy and physiology, and if a blood vessel or nerve is in the pathway of the needle during the piercing process it can cause severe bleeding or nerve damage.
Gum Tissue Damage Caused by Oral Piercing
4. Sometimes blood poisoning, metal allergies, or blood clots can occur.
5. Metal jewelry in the mouth is often the cause of cracked and broken teeth. This risk is reduced slightly by plastic jewelry, but is not eliminated.
6. Piercings of the lips in which the backside of the jewelry lies on the inside of the mouth can cause irritation of the gum tissue as it can scrape and wear gum tissue away as it moves in the mouth. This requires reconstructive surgery to repair and sometimes results in the loss of teeth. It is incredibly important to check the gum health regularly at the dental office of Dr. Mina Levi DDS to discover this early.

If You Already Have an Oral Piercing
If you already have an oral piercing, you may want to consider having the jewelry removed to protect
 your teeth and gums. If you decide to keep it, make sure to do the following:
1. Remove the jewelry when participating in sports, and also wear a mouth guard.
2. Check the tightness of your jewelry regularly with very clean hands, to ensure the jewelry is never loose.
3. Have regular check-ups with the dentist Dr. Mina Levi to keep track of the health of the gums and teeth.

How to Choose a Good Piercer
Choosing a professional is very important when considering having
Tongue Piercing
an oral piercing done, because you want it done correctly. The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) provides resources for finding a reputable piercer on their website at It is important to make sure your piercer uses an autoclave sterilizer and that they do not re-use needles. Make sure that the piercing room is clean and that you will be receiving aftercare instructions. It is encouraged that you ask your piercer questions that will help you evaluate their experience. Be sure to follow your instincts; if the piercer or piercing location does not seem to meet all of the standards or does not make you feel comfortable, then go somewhere else.

It is your personal decision whether or not to get an oral piercing, but make sure that you are as informed as possible before deciding. If you have any questions or concerns about oral piercings and the risks involved with your oral health, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.