The fashion of “body art” is very popular, especially as many high profile celebrities have had tattoos, piercings and other decorations applied to their bodies. Mouth decorations, especially piercing, is particularly fashionable, but does carry risks, not only to the teeth and mouth itself, but also to your general health.
There is little control over who may set up a body piercing studio. Sterilising equipment e.g. autoclaves, are expensive and some practitioners may not have them, so their instruments may not be completely clean.
Because of its closeness to the airway, and the fact that it is not possible to keep the area clean and dry while it is healing, a number of problems can arise following a piercing in the mouth are:
For all the above reasons, most doctors and dentists advise against mouth piercing, but if you do want to have it done, make sure to use a reputable piercer or body artist, whose work area is clean and equipment is sterile.
Following mouth piercing, keep the area clean and hygienic. Avoid touching the area directly but if you do need to do, wash your hands with antibacterial detergent. Suck ice to help sooth pain and swelling. Rinse with diluted antibacterial mouthwash and/or salt water, don’t smoke while the piercing is healing.
Ask your dentist/hygienist for oral health advice, which will include:
Brushing the tongue, stud and barbell twice daily with a soft toothbrush
Removing the stud once a month to clean thoroughly
Do not use ordinary jewellery to clean as they will irritate the mouth
Check the jewellery regularly to ensure it is intact
Do not fiddle or play with the studs and take care when chewing to avoid biting or knocking the stud.
If an infection develops, see your GP or dentist for antibiotic treatment
If you find it difficult to swallow or breathe, seek urgent medical help
If you chip or crack a tooth, visit your dentist.
Please get in touch if you are concerned about any aspect of your dental health. We will treat you fairly and honestly - and we look forward to being able to help you.