The Dangers of Mouth Jewelry

The Dangers of Mouth Jewelry

Posted by SHEFFIELD SQUARE DENTAL CARE on Mar 20 2018, 10:50 AM

Mouth jewelry is popular with people of all ages. However, it increases the risk of tooth damage, dental infections, and injuries.

Potential Damage to Teeth

As you probably know, wearing jewelry or accessories like piercings and tongue studs can be detrimental to the health of your mouth. Not only can they chip your teeth and cause them to become weak over time, but they can also damage the soft tissues of your mouth. Certain types of jewelry can cut the mouth tissue and even push it out of place. This can increase your risk of infections and can even change the appearance of your face!

If you’re considering getting your tongue pierced, make sure you’re aware of the risks and speak to your dentist beforehand. They can let you know if it’s safe for you to be pierced and if there are any other considerations you should be aware of before having it done.

Also, if you have your piercing done, be sure to see your dentist within a couple of days to make sure your mouth is healing properly. They can give you tips on caring for it in the meantime.

Risk of Infection

If a piece of oral jewelry is chipped, it can cause injury to the tongue and cheeks as well as increase your risk of infection. Aside from that, it’s also hard to clean between the teeth with a piece of metal or stone in your mouth. 

If you accidentally chip your piece of mouth jewelry, be sure to contact our office as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the damage, we may need to perform a minor procedure to repair the area and prevent infection. 

Even if you’re taking good care of your mouth jewelry by brushing after eating or drinking, you still need to be careful. This is because you can’t remove all of the bacteria from your mouth with a simple brushing – especially between your teeth.

Risk of Aspiration

Oral jewelry, or mouth piercings, are not exactly a new thing; they’ve been around for centuries. In fact, the Mayan and Aztec cultures pierced their lips, cheeks, or even tongues with pieces of bone, stones, and even seashells. Today, of course, we have much better tools than sharpened seashells. And unfortunately, our tools and methods have not necessarily improved the safety of oral piercings. Tongue studs are still a popular type of oral piercing, especially among teens.

While some people assume that tongue studs can’t be aspirated because they are “below” the tongue’s soft tissues, this simply isn’t true. It is possible for objects to become lodged in a person’s mouth, such as a broken tooth or an orthodontic bracket. It’s also possible for an object to find its way into somewhere it shouldn’t be – like the lungs. This can happen if a person is sleeping while wearing a retainer with metal on it, for example. It can even be caused by something as simple as a piece of food becoming lodged in someone’s mouth.

Aspiration is the inhalation of food or liquid into the lungs. This can be particularly dangerous if the person has a compromised immune system, has an existing respiratory condition, or suffers an obstruction in their airway. Even if the object that ends up in the lungs is small in size, it can cause damage to the lungs over time. For this reason, dentists do not recommend wearing oral jewelry of any kind. 

Chronic Irritation

If you wear mouth jewelry, you run the risk of chronic irritation and infection. A piece can easily rub against your gums, cheeks, and tongue, causing bleeding and inflammation. This constant inflammation puts pressure on your gum line, which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Without treatment, these conditions can quickly lead to tooth loss. Wearing pieces can also exacerbate TMJ pain, especially if you grind your teeth at night and the jewelry makes contact with the joint area.

Call us at 773-880-2310 or email us at to schedule your appointment. Visit Sheffield Square Dental Care at 2835 N. Sheffield Ave, Suite 305, Chicago, IL 60657.

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