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If an oral piercing is on your horizon, please take a moment to consider the risks associated with them. While tongue and lip piercings are popular and seem like a fun for of self-expression in fashion, they may also cause dental issues. So to avoid damaging your healthy smile, please read on!


Oral piercings can cause inflammation and damage to the nerves at the piercing site. If the piercing jewelry constantly touches the gums, the gums may pull away, allowing the teeth to chip or fracture.

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, tongue and lip piercings can cause tooth loss. In severe gum disease, the layer of gum tissue and jawbone create pockets as they pull back from the teeth. This makes them susceptible to loosening and potentially falling out or requiring removal.

Now, if you have assessed all possible dental health risks and still would like an oral piercing, we advise you to take extra care of the piercing site and follow the healing directions given to you by your piercing professional. Be mindful that it can take four to six weeks to heal a tongue piercing and up to two months for a lip piercing, and stay on top of signs that the piercing is not healing properly.

Signs of a Piercing Going Wrong

  • Signs that your piercing may not be healing properly include bleeding or tearing of the tissue after the piercing has healed.
  • An abscess at the site or a low grade fever that isn’t improving.
  • Tenderness, redness, or swelling in the gums that doesn’t seem to be healing.
  • A thickening and darkening of the gums around the piercing area.
  • Yellow or green discharge from the piercing site.

Our job is to keep your smile as healthy and radiant as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about an oral piercing, we invite you to contact our office for a visit with Dr. John Wiltz. We can be reached by calling our Irish Road Dental team in Davison, Michigan at 810.653.4100 today!