Oral Piercings & Braces

Oral Piercings & Braces

Our Vancouver orthodontists advise against oral piercings whether or not you have braces, because there are so many health risks associated with them. But if you do have braces, there are some additional risks associated with oral piercings.

How do oral piercings negatively impact oral health?

Piercings increase the risk of developing many oral health conditions. These include:

Disease Transmission: Oral piercings can increase your risk of transmitting or getting herpes simplex virus, and hepatitis B & C.

Chipped Enamel: Metal jewelry can significantly damage your teeth, often resulting in the need for expensive dental work.

Difficulty with Normal Oral Functions: Oral piercings can make chewing, talking and swallowing more difficult. Tongue piercings can also cause excessive saliva production, resulting in temporary or permanent drooling.

Infections: Oral piercings create a significant crevice in which bacteria can readily build up. This can be especially dangerous when the piercing hasn't finished healing yet.

Nerve Damage: If nerves are damaged as a result of the piercing, it can cause numbness and difficulty moving the pierced area.

Endocarditis: When oral bacteria can enters the bloodstream via the piercing wound, it can result in endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart and/or its valves.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Long-stem tongue piercings increase your risk of gum disease. This is because, when the jewelry comes into contact with the gums, it can cause injuries, resulting in gum infections and recession over time.

Oral Piercings & Orthodontics

Oral piercings can cause additional damage and health problems if the individual is undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Tongue or lip piercing may hit the braces when you're talking or sleeping, and this can cause them to chip. Piercings may interfere with tooth movement as well, making your orthodontic treatment less effective, or causing gaps to form between the teeth. Finally, piercings can damage retainers, lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.

If you are thinking about an oral piercing either during or before orthodontic treatment (or even after!), we strongly recommend against it! 

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