Piercing Revelations

Man touching his lip with his tongue to symbolize an infection caused by piercings

Are you considering some sort of body piercing? We hate to sound old-fashioned, but if you or your teen is into this form of self-expression, we’d much rather you targeted your ears and not your mouth.

The American Dental Association agrees with us, saying “oral piercings (tongue, lips) may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health.” Indeed, research points to potential long-and short-term problems that oral piercings can cause. An infected tongue piercing can cause many oral health issues.

So please consider the following before adding that bit of gold or silver to your lips or tongue:


Mouth jewelry means upkeep. It is important to regularly disinfect and clean your piercings so that you don't have to deal with adverse reactions. Why add more responsibility to your life?


Mouths are moist environments; they’re ideal breeding grounds for infection-causing bacteria.

Tooth Damage

Some people with tongue or lip piercings can’t help biting or playing with the piercing. This can lead to chipped or cracked teeth. Gum erosion or recession is also possible when jewelry rubs against the gum.

Increased saliva

Tongue piercings can cause excess saliva production. Wouldn’t you rather drool over a tasty dessert?

Whatcha Say?

Jewelry in the mouth can make chewing, swallowing or even word pronunciation difficult.

Oral Piercing Woes

Worst case scenarios can include closed-off airways from swollen tongues, nerve damage (if piercing isn’t placed properly), transmission of blood-borne diseases like hepatitis B and even endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves or tissues.

Contact our Williamsburg Dental Specialists

If you’ve already taken the oral piercing plunge, be sure to check with your Williamsburg Dental professional at the first sign of any pain or issues of any kind, even if it’s not checkup time. If you’re doing some sort of sport, be sure to remove the jewelry first to minimize the risk of damage. Our Willamsburg Dental experts can help you treat oral infections and tooth damage through our cosmetic and restorative dental services.