Facial piercings in lips, tongue and cheeks have become popular forms of self-expression however we strongly advise you to think carefully about the oral health risks associated, especially if you are considering orthodontic treatment.
Lip rings rub against your teeth and scratche the surface, over time they may even wear a groove in them. For patients with braces, there is a chance that oral piercing jewellery can catch on the brackets causing discomfort or damage to the orthodontic appliances, which could lengthen your treatment time.
Other problems associated with oral piercing jewellery include increased risk of infection from touching them or getting food caught around the piercing site, tooth sensitivity, gum damage and gum recession.
Researchers from Ohio State University College of Dentistry and the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in USA conducted research on 52 people with pierced tongues and discovered that among those whose tongue piercings had been in place for four years or longer, 35% of them had experienced gum recession.
Among people in the study who had worn long-stemmed barbells for two years or longer, half of them were diagnosed with receding gums.
If you have oral piercings and you are considering orthodontic treatment, it is advisable to take the opportunity to remove the jewellery and allow the piercing site to heal over. If you are investing time and money in improving your smile, it is equally important to invest in the health of your teeth and gums.