Considerations Before Getting Oral Jewels

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Oral jewellery is considered any piercing displaying jewellery within the mouth. Common oral piercings consist of the tongue, lip and frenum. Typical oral jewellery is typically barbells, studs and hoops, which can be steel, nickel, titanium, gold or plastic. From an oral and systemic health perspective, it is not recommended to get oral jewellery for many reasons. But, if a person is set on having oral jewellery, it is essential to have the piercing performed in a location with proper equipment following infection control procedures. 


Be aware that there will be a healing period after receiving an oral piercing. Some tips for healing include frequent rinses with salt water, sucking on ice, brushing after each meal, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol for four weeks, and constantly washing hands before touching the piercing. Be sure to monitor the piercing for signs of infection for four weeks, including redness, swelling, and pain. 


On-going care for oral jewellery includes brushing and cleaning the jewellery simultaneously as brushing the teeth twice daily. It's recommended to remove the jewellery before eating, sleeping and playing sports, if possible. Selecting jewellery made of plastic instead of metal causes less risk of chipping and cracking teeth. One of the most important things to remember is to periodically check the jewellery to make sure it is fitting tight so as not to dislodge and cause a choking hazard. 


Oral and Systemic Implications 

  • Pain, redness, swelling and bleeding post piercing
  • Bacterial, a viral or fungal infection can lead to the bloodstream
  • Nerve damage from the piercing site 
  • Increased salivary flow 
  • Ludwig's angina, which is an infection on the floor of the mouth caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream 
  • An obstructed airway can occur either from extreme swelling or from choking on the jewellery
  • Gum recession around the site of the piercing 
  • Scar tissue formation 
  • Chips/ cracks/ fractures to surrounding teeth 
  • Tooth sensitivity 
  • Problems with biting, chewing and speech 
  • Bad breath, called halitosis
  • Increased tartar formation around the jewellery and surrounding teeth
  • A potential risk for an increase in clenching or grinding habits 


The risk factors certainly outweigh the benefits when it comes to oral jewellery. If oral jewellery is a must, it is important to follow care guidelines to ensure a healthy mouth and body. If you have any questions about oral jewellery, we encourage you to contact us today to book an appointment.

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Mississauga Dental Arts

(905) 286-1569

Mississauga, ON Dentist
Mississauga Dental Arts
350 Burnhamthorpe Road East #2
Mississauga, ON L5A 3S5
(905) 286-1569