Oral Piercing: How It Impacts Your Mouth And Oral Health

Piercing is a foreign body inserted inside our mouths. So, it is plausible that this might lead to some health conditions.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Dec 15, 2022 16:06 IST
Oral Piercing: How It Impacts Your Mouth And Oral Health

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For some, the oral piercing may look cool, while for others, it becomes a reason for pain and suffering. "If it is done in a proper way, following the protocol, it might not affect oral health. But if it's not done correctly – if we get it done from the quacks and not from the proper physician or the dentist – then it may lead to fatal conditions," said Dr Kishkindha (BDS) based in Ludhiana, Punjab, when asked about the impact of oral piercing on oral health.

"Commonly, oral piercings are done in the tongue region, like its tip. The material used for piercing is titanium, steel, and acrylic materials. In foreign countries, a special material called niobium is used, also available in India nowadays," she added.

Problems Faced Due To Oral Piercing

Piercing is a foreign body inserted inside our mouths. So, it is plausible that this might lead to some health conditions.

Swelling and Pain

The most common problem a person who got the oral piercing done faces is pain and swelling. It might also lead to bleeding and local infections. "The person can have problems chewing or mastication," said Dr Kishkindha.

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Galvanic Current Formation

Dr Kishkindha highlighted, "The person can also develop a galvanic current in their mouth. Galvanic current does not happen only due to piercing but also due to other metal fillings. In this, we tell the patients to be more cautious about what to consume. For example, if the upper molar has silver amalgam filling and the lower molar has gold amalgam. These two metals will contradict each other leading to galvanic current formation. Similarly, in the case of oral piercing, we tell them not to put anything of different metal in the mouth."

Dermatitis and Lymphadenitis

She also added, "Oral piercing can also lead to dermatitis. Our whole body has lymph nodes, which these piercings can enlarge. The lymph nodes can be enlarged to such an extent that it may lead to lymphadenitis."

Severe Cases

In severe cases, especially people who are on blood thinners or suffering from diabetes, keloid formation can occur. Keloid is a butterfly-shaped lesion that develops around the particular region where the piercing is done, and there might be loss of the papillae of the tongue, she stated.

When the conditions become extreme, the infection can grow towards the pharynx and throat, leading to pharyngitis and even eczema.

If the piercing is larger in size, then it might lead to clenching of the teeth. As a result, your teeth will not be able to occlude or close properly. This will not only lead to difficulty in mastication but also aggressive teeth clashing, resulting in attrition and abrasion.

In attrition, the incisor or the upper region of your teeth wears out. While in the case of abrasion, the surface of your teeth, facing the external environment, gets worn out.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

It might also lead to cracked tooth syndrome. This can occur due to malarrangement of the tooth, which can crack the tooth, leading to its breakdown.

Also ReadCrooked Teeth: How They Influence Your Oral Health

Gum Diseases

This can also lead to gum diseases, like gingival recession, wherein the gums leave their place, leaving the roots of the tooth exposed.


Piercing can also attract microorganisms, and microbial growth can occur if proper cleanliness and oral hygiene are not maintained. Dr Kishkindha suggests if one has to get the oral piercing done, he should get it done by a professional or dentist and not by quacks. "This is because we do not know what kind of material and technique they are using. Since your tongue has nerves, we cannot rupture and piece anywhere. When not correctly done, it might lead to haematoma and numbness of the tongue, which can become a chronic problem," added Dr Kishkindha.

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