You may be considering getting an oral piercing because it looks cool and can be a form of self-expression. But before you go through with this fashion trend, first look at some of the negative effects oral piercings can have on the health of your mouth.

High Risk For Infection

Your mouth contains thousands of bacteria used for both good and ill. When you have a wound like that created by an oral piercing (which takes 4-6 weeks to heal), then your chances of infection increase, especially if you do not correctly follow after-care instructions.

Uncontrolled Bleeding

Tongue piercings are one of the most popular types of oral piercings, but they can also be one of the most dangerous. The tongue contains several vessels that contribute to uncontrolled bleeding if they are wounded by a piercing.

Broken Teeth

Piercings constantly clack against teeth, and you may accidently bite down on them. This can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your teeth such as wear, chips, and cracks which can alter your bite. Dental restorations are also susceptible to damage from an oral piercing.

Extreme Swelling

After you receive an injury, surgical incision, or a piercing, your body reacts by making the affected area swell. An oral piercing in the tongue can cause it to swell so much that it blocks your airway and inhibits breathing.


Your mouth may become permanently numb if a piercing causes nerve damage. This can create difficulty with speaking, chewing, and even changing your facial expressions.