Are you considering getting an oral piercing? It may seem appealing as they look fashionable, but you should be aware of the health risks associated with oral piercings. Even if you already have one, you might learn a few things you might not know.

The human mouth is a rich environment for bacteria to flourish in. Even without piercings, it’s common for people to develop an infection occasionally. By adding an oral piercing, you greatly increase your chances of getting an infection of the soft parts of your mouth.

Many people who have piercings tend to develop the habit of playing with them regularly and this slightly irritates the tissues that hold the piercing. This irritation is very inviting to bacterial growth. And because these piercings are in the mouth, particles of all the food that comes through can accumulate and eventually cause a serious health situation or unpleasant odor.

It’s hard to ignore the presence of an oral piercing, so biting or playing with the site is fairly common. This becomes a habit like a nervous tic. This can lead to tooth fractures, chipping or cracks. While a fracture may only be on the enamel of the tooth and require a simple filling, it can also go deeper, which could require a root canal or even tooth extraction. In time the result might be tooth alterations and wear that are not reparable by conservative dental intervention.

Also, piercings have other risks which include hindering or otherwise affecting your ability to talk and eat, damage to nerves and gums, and even loss of taste.

If you are determined to get an oral piercing, at least be aware of the time it will take to heal. Healing will require at least four to six weeks, and can cause great discomfort during that time. You should be willing to give it that time, to lower your chances of infection.

Be certain in understanding that having an oral piercing will involve additional responsibility to your daily dental health duties. This is a permanent commitment to regular upkeep on your end, and not just while it’s healing.