Here’s everything you should know about oral piercings and its impact on dental hygiene

Oral Piercing and Dental Hygiene

From gold fronts, diamond crowns, Grillz to piercing diamonds on teeth, hip hop has consistently been offering something for the teeth. Oral piercing is perhaps a trend that has managed to survive for several decades.

What is oral piercing?

Oral piercings include cheek, lip, and tongue piercings. High-quality piercing material is available in different styles.

Due to the health risks associated with cheek, lips, and tongue piercing, it is recommended to first seek your dentist’s advice before opting for such jewelry.

Different oral piercings

You can select from several rings, barbells, and studs. The tongue webbing, midline tongue piercing, upper tongue webbing, venom bites, snake eye piercing, labret piercing (for the bottom lip), snake bites, are some of the most popular oral piercings. Other options preferred worldwide are angel bites, spider bites, Monroe piercing, medusa, double dahlia piercing, and dolphin bites.

Piercing diamonds on teeth

Tooth piercing, oral jewelry adds a sparkle to your mouth. Tooth gems have been around since ages and were drilled, glued to teeth as a ritual in the past. However, the sparkle comes with its own set of potential risk for dental health.

The tooth surface needs to be conditioned, prepared by a professional piercer or dental care expert. Gems are placed either on the front or anterior part of the teeth. The process is irreversible and involves cementing, attaching metal fixture, diamond, stone or any other jewelry on the tooth enamel.

Two techniques for diamond implant

Currently, there are two methods of placing the jewelry on the tooth. Specialists either bond it to the surface or drill a hole in the surface to accurately position the stone in the same.

Beauty salons, tattoo parlors offer to stick the stone to the tooth using cement or glue. However, it sticks out, gives an uncomfortable feeling, and may even get detached while eating.

Drilling a small divot ensures the diamond fits perfectly on the surface. It remains durable and the user feels confident.

Possible after-effects of tongue piercing

  • The metallic smile comes with several risks. The mouth contains hundreds of good and bad bacteria. Thus, the presence of jewelry increases the chances of infection in case of piercing related injuries.
  • Drilling even a small hole on the surface of a competent, healthy tooth may not be a good idea, especially when the step is irreversible. If something goes wrong, the person might end up with a diamond that looks like a stray piece of spinach instead of flexing those expensive smiles.
  • If the person performing oral piercing does not have much of an experience, he or she might end up mistakenly puncturing tongue’s blood vessel. It can result in uncontrollable, severe blood loss.
  • An individual may experience pain and swelling while undergoing various oral piercing procedures. A swollen tongue can restrict breathing, resulting in trouble for the airway.
  • Special care is essential during the healing process after placing the jewels.
  • The pierced material strikes teeth, resulting in a cracked, chipped, fractured tooth. People who have caps, crowns, and dental bridges can end up damaging restorations due to oral jewelry.
  • Most importantly, the metal and diamond can result in injuries to the soft gum tissues. Gums recede due to the injury, look unattractive, and remain vulnerable to periodontal disease.
  • The National Institutes of Health has identified these oral gems as factors that can transmit blood-borne diseases, including hepatitis B, C, D, and G.
  • Amongst all the possible challenges that the oral jewelry user might face, the interference encountered in normal oral functions deserves special attention. Presence of metal in the mouth leads to excess saliva flow. It can cause problems in chewing, swallowing, and pronouncing words correctly.
  • Individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases, haemophilia, diabetes, and heart disease may require a longer time for piercing injury to heal.
  • Contact dermatitis is often triggered due to metallic objects. Several people experience allergic reactions due to body piercing jewelry. Besides eczema, it can also cause diarrhoea, chronic abdominal pain.
  • Dentists may find it challenging to take x-rays due to the presence of these jewels, especially diamond piercings.
  • Case studies suggest several patients show a link between endocarditis inflammation and oral piercing wounds. Injuries act like a gateway for bacteria which enter the bloodstream and reach the heart.

How long can the metallic shine last?

Oral piercings can last for several years if pierced by experienced professionals. Keeping the mouth free of infection is essential. The patient must seek professional help immediately if the jewels seem to interfere with normal oral functions or cause pain.

Even the wound caused while fixing the jewel needs immediate attention. Loose jewellery can get ingested, so, the patient needs to seek professional help for getting the same removed immediately.

Tips for minimizing problems

Before opting for the procedure, piercing enthusiast needs to make sure he or she is up to date when it comes to tetanus, hepatitis B, and other vaccines for infections.

The tongue piercings should be removable so that the user would be able to remove it while brushing or sleeping.

Last but not least, the allergic reaction towards a material often keeps on increasing with time. So, it needs to be treated as soon as possible by getting rid of the metal.

Bleeding, redness of gums, bad smell, rash, pus discharge, or tongue swelling might prove to be signs of infection. The patient should immediately approach a dental care expert for a check-up to get the infection treated. If you wish to discuss side-effects of piercing in Roswell (GA), you can fix an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.


1. How do oral piercings affect oral health?

Oral piercings can escalate the risks of severe oral infections, gingival recession, orodental trauma, and traumatic lacerations. It can puncture the tongue’s blood vessels and result in severe blood loss.

2. Do oral piercings damage teeth?

Yes. Oral piercings such as tooth gems that are drilled into teeth can cause severe enamel damage and irritate gum tissue. Tongue piercings can strike teeth and create chips, cracks, tooth sensitivity, and scratches.

3. Are oral piercings safe?

No, they are extremely risky. They can result in severe infections, enamel damage, complications in nerves and gums, as well as escalate the risks of oral cancer.

4. What is considered an oral piercing?

An oral piercing is a cosmetic piercing made in the mouth (tongue, cheek, lip, teeth, and uvula) to put jewelry to it.