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As children enter their teenage years, it’s natural for them to want to express themselves. But if your teen’s desired form of self-expression is an oral piercing, it may fill you with dismay. First, be aware that minors may not get an oral piercing without parental consent. But if you feel that you should support your child, it’s important for both of you to be aware of the complications of oral piercings as discussed by your pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we offer great dental care for youth of all ages. We understand that each stage of childhood brings new challenges, and we want to help parents face these challenges with our knowledge and expertise. Whether your child already faces dental complications as a result of an oral piercing, or you are simply trying to discourage them from making this decision, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us.

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

What are oral piercings?

There are several types of oral piercings, but tongue piercings are by far the most common. Most frequently, the tongue is pierced in the middle. But the tip can also be pierced. Some people opt to have two piercings on either side of the tongue.

Other locations for oral piercings can include the lip, cheek, uvula, or frenum (the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth.)

Oral Piercings and Dental Health

Oral piercings can cause tooth erosion, as the mouth jewelry comes in frequent contact with the teeth. This is especially common with tongue tip piercings. This type of piercing can also lead to diastema, or a gap between the two front teeth, particularly if a person continuously manipulates his or her tongue piercing. 

Oral Piercings and Gum Health

Periodontal complications are even more common following an oral piercing. In fact, 50% of those with lip piercings and 44% of those with tongue piercings have reported gum erosion. In turn, receding gums can dramatically affect a person’s appearance, giving their teeth an elongated look. Even more alarming, gum recession can lead to exposed tooth roots, severe dental sensitivity, and tooth loss

Further, without vigilant hygiene and cleanings, oral piercings often trap and harbor bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

Oral Piercings and Overall Health Complications 

Aside from dental complications, oral piercings can be dangerous for systemic health. For one, the tongue is a highly vascular area, so if the piercing is not performed properly, it can lead to prolonged bleeding. The tongue could also swell, which could block the airway and cause difficulty breathing

Though rare, mouth jewelry could become embedded in other soft tissues, necessitating surgical removal. And some people have experienced life threatening complications because of their oral piercings. For all of these reasons, the American Dental Association (and your pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS) advise against this practice. 

Book an Appointment for Your Teen with a Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park, KS

Think your teen might be more receptive to advice coming from someone else? Feel free to book an appointment with us!

Contact us online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990. 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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