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Oral piercings, or piercings on the lip and tongue may be fashionable, but they have not gotten that much safer. The main reason is that they are in the mouth which is naturally home to millions of bacteria. This moist, warm environment is perfect for germ production, making open wounds a safety risk. So using metal jewelry in the mouth, whether a ring, barbell, or stud, is riskier than piercing one’s ears.

If you are looking to have an oral piercing done, please consider the possible risks involved and be on the lookout for any of the following signs:


Because the mouth is a moist breeding ground for bacteria, it is also the perfect environment for infection. The problem with infections is that they can become life threatening if not properly treated. And if the tongue swells because of the piercing, it can even block your airway.

Oral damage

People with piercings often develop the habit of playing with the piercing with the tongue or biting. This can injure the gums and even crack or scratch sensitive teeth. Piercings are also capable of damaging dental fillings.

Damage to the nerves

The tongue can become numb from nerve damage after a piercing, and while this effect is usually temporary it can sometimes be permanent. This can affect how you taste, or move your mouth. Not only that, but if there is damage to the blood vessels in your mouth you can lose a lot of blood.

Metal hypersensitivity

Some people can sometimes experience allergic reactions from the metal used in the piercing jewelry.


Drooling can happen when the piercing increases saliva production and as your mouth reacts to the metal. And while drooling isn’t actually dangerous, it also won’t do much for your image either!

Problems at dental appointments

When you go to your dental checkup and need to have X-rays done, it is possible that your metal jewelry can block the image of your mouth where the piercing is located. This can interfere with getting proper dental care.

If you are considering an oral piercing, please take the time to assess the risks. If you decide to go ahead with the piercing, vet your piercing studio to make sure that they are certified, and that they take proper sanitation and your health seriously.

Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy smile, not just a fashionable one! If you have any concerns, we invite you to visit with Dr. Mauricio Martinez. You can reach our Gulf Coast Smiles team in Cape Coral, Florida at 239.549.0001 today.