A form of body modification, body piercings are not an uncommon practice. Specifically speaking about oral piercings – they have been around for at least 5,000 years! Tongue and lip piercings was practiced in ritual form in ancient African, South American, and Native American cultures. In the Aztec and Maya cultures, the tongue was pierced to honor the gods.

While the tongue remains a popular site in the Western world, it has declined in popularity since 2011. Still, for those who support the sporting of a tongue or lip piercing, here some facts from your friendly Brampton dental office!

Risks with Oral Piercings

  • Common symptoms after the piercing include pain, swelling, and increased flow of saliva.
  • The mouth is full of bacteria and cannot be kept clean, the piercing is more susceptible to infection than any other body part.
  • Serious infections include hepatitis and/or endocarditis (which is the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart).
  • If a blood vessel or nerve is in the path of the needle during the piercing, severe and difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result.
  • Blood poisoning, metal allergies, and blood clots can occur.
  • After the healing process, which is typically around 7 months, there is an ongoing risk of serious damage to the teeth and gum tissue.
  • Metal or plastic jewelry can abrade the teeth surfaces and gum tissues which would require reconstructive surgery to repair.
  • In some instances, results of oral piercings can conclude to tooth loss.


If you already have oral piercings and intend on keeping them, be mindful of the movements of the jewelry. Be sure to remove the jewelry and wear a mouth guard when playing sports. Also, be sure to regularly check the tightness of the jewelry as loose jewelry can become a choking hazard and/or damage the digestive tract if swallowed.

Remember – make an informed choice! Visit our Brampton dental office today to speak with our dental professionals to see if you a good candidate for oral piercings. Our Brampton Dentist will assess your oral health and guide you towards a well-informed decision. Call our office to book your appointment today!

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