When one considers oral piercing

It is important to know as much as possible about the basics, potential health risks and complications.

Oral piercings can involve the lip, cheek, frenum (the fold of soft tissue under the tongue that connects the floor of the mouth) or the uvula (the cone-like projection from the soft palate).

The most common piercing site is the tongue and there are two types: dorsoventral (more common and much safer) and dorsolateral (most professional piercers will not perform it).

Complications from oral piercing has raised many concerns in the dental and medical fields.

Because the mouth is known to contain millions of bacteria, the possibility of developing an infection is highly probable. Also, if an adverse reaction has occurred, there are a number of symptoms including pain, swelling, increased saliva production or gum tissue injuries.  Additional symptoms can include restricted breathing, loss of taste, tooth damage, uncontrolled bleeding, blood poisoning, blood clots or contracting blood-borne infections like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and hepatitis.

For people who want to allow the piercing to close, it is recommended to allow the infection to heal and then remove the jewelry. Keep in mind that a small indentation or scar may remain. To learn more about the healing process and maintenance of oral piercings, types of jewelry to use and when to consult with a dentist, click here.

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