Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The Dental Dangers of Lip Piercings

Much attention has been given to the hazards to the teeth and body from a tongue piercing. These hazards, to name a few, include chipped teeth, gum recession, infection, and choking. As serious as the impact of a tongue piercing on the teeth, many people ignore the hazards of a lip piercing. Lip piercings can be just as prone to infection and may also cause significant damage to the teeth.

The most commonly seen problem from lip piercings affects the gums. When a piece of metal is inserted through the lip, it has to come in contact with the tissues of the gum at some point. Unfortunately, many piercings rub against the gums far more than is safe or healthy. When this happens, the gum can recede. Just like with a tongue piercing on the inside of the teeth, the gum can recede due to a lip piercing just as easily.

When the gum recedes, there is a much greater chance for tooth decay and loss. In addition, the situation can be very painful. The gums hide the roots for the teeth. The roots hold the majority of a tooth's nerve endings. When the gum recedes, these nerves are left exposed to the conditions of the mouth.

Exposed nerves can result in increased sensitivity to heat and cold. It can also result in the teeth not liking to bite into food. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected.

The good news is that the recessed gum line can be corrected. Corrected a recessed gum line requires surgery. The problem with performing the surgery is that the problem will just come back unless the patient removes his or her lip piercings. If there are multiple piercings, the problem can just become greater and require a larger amount of gum repair be performed.

Lip piercings, fortunately, are much less likely to chip a tooth because they are on the outside, mostly, of the mouth. They are equally as capable of becoming infected though. Just because there is less metal in a person's mouth does not mean that a piece of food can become lodged in the lip piercing's hole from the interior of the mouth. Once the food is lodged in there, it is equally likely to become infected.

Another problem is that a lip piercing can still catch on a tooth, to a degree, causing tear in the hole. This tear makes it even more likely that the piercing will become infected.

Overall, lip piercings are only marginally better for a person's dental health than a tongue piercing is.

For more information on the hazards of piercing the oral cavity, please visit http://www.drbagai.com.

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