Have you ever expressed interest in getting a lip piercing but were faced with comments about them destroying your teeth and gums? We’ve all heard it before, but is it actually true? And if it is true, are there ways to combat the effect lip piercings have on teeth? Keep reading to find out!
Gum Irritation and Recession
A lip piercing that has a bar or ring that constantly rubs against the gums can cause irritation and after a period of time wear. A recent dental study stated that: 50% of people who had worn a long barbell stem piercing (longer than 1.59 cm) for more than two years had their gum tissue pull away from the inside of their lower front teeth.” So, there’s no denying that gum recession and wear can occur from oversized lip jewelry.
In order to combat these negative gum affects make sure that as soon as the piercing is fully healed, you change the starter lip piercing jewelry to a size that is more appropriate. When getting an oral piercing (or any piercing really), your piercer will choose a bar or ring that allows for swelling. As the swelling of the lip piercing reduces this starter jewelry will be far too large for your lip. Go to your piercer in order to find the perfect size for you and they can also help you change out your freshly healed lip piercing to avoid any damage.
Gum irritation and recession can also be caused by bad placement of the lip piercing. If the piercing is too low or high, it may constantly rub against the gums. Make sure you speak to your piercer about placement first. Always go to a qualified and experienced studio to avoid this!
Tooth Irritation and Wear
Depending on the placement of your jewelry, even when changing your size you may still have piercing jewelry that rubs against the front of the teeth which can wear away the enamel and lead to dental sensitivity or deformation. If you get into the habit of playing with your jewelry by placing it in the grooves of your teeth or accidentally bite down on a piece of metal piercing jewelry, this can wear or even chip a tooth. If you play contact spots, a hit to the mouth may crack or break a tooth entirely!
At the end of the day, it’s between you (and sometimes your dentist) whether you decide to opt for a lip piercing. But if you stay aware of the possible affects and try your best to combat these with good piercing care, your smile should be safe.