Body piercings are a common form of self-expression seen around San Jose and across the country. This post from Wes Yemoto Aesthetic and Holistic Dentistry is for anyone with an oral piercing or who may be considering one.
Since this is a dental blog, you expect all sorts of alarms warning about the dangers of piercings. You are correct. Unfortunately, these piercings and the jewelry they accommodate can lead to serious issues not only with your teeth and mouth, but your entire body. They can lead to tooth damage, dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, bone recession, compromised immune system function and, in rare cases, death.
In general, any oral piercing is going to open you up to an array of dangerous oral infections and complications. The mouth is full of germs and introducing foreign objects permanently is not natural for your body’s health.
A tongue piercing can cause difficulty chewing with unnatural chewing patterns that may lead to swallowing troubles. The jewelry produces excess saliva from the salivary glands, which throws off the natural balance of your oral cavity. Permanent nerve deterioration, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions can also develop.
Metal jewelry also can easily come in contact with your teeth, leading to cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth. Your teeth are built to last a lifetime. Chips, cracks, and enamel erosion compromise their durability and shorten their life span.
Complications with some piercings ensue by the introduction of hepatitis and herpes simplex viruses, and even more complications have occurred with bacteria entering the bloodstream and eventually lodging in the heart valve. In rare cases, such infections are fatal.
Though not technically a piercing, some people drill small holes in their teeth to place rhinestones or other jewelry. Drilling into a tooth is dangerous for many reasons, including damage that can make a root canal necessary. The jewel also can attract bacteria that can directly go into the drilled cavity of the tooth.
At Wes Yemoto Esthetic and Holistic Dentistry, we discourage oral piercings. However, if you already have one and plan to keep it, have regular dental cleanings and check-ups at in our San Jose office. We provide a full range of general dentistry services.
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