Any type of piercing presents certain challenges and dangers to the body. Facial piercings and lip piercings in particular may have some additional concerns you need to be aware of before you get pierced. Understanding these dangers can help you to avoid them and have a healthier, longer-lasting piercing.
Possible Complications from Lip Piercings
Many people have lip piercings that have little to no problems at all. This may be due in part to care taken by both the piercer and by the wearer of the piercing. Others have not been so lucky with their lip piercings, and have developed problems or complications which range from mild to serious.
The problems may appear almost immediately, or they may develop months or years after the piercing was carried out. Many of the dangers of lip piercings take time to develop; they may go unnoticed in the early stages.
Potential dangers and problems could include:
- Infections: These can be caused by improperly disinfected piercing tools, an unsterile piercing environment or improper aftercare. Your mouth is home to large amounts of bacteria; proper aftercare will help ensure your piercing site stays clean.
- Nerve damage: This may happen if the piercer does not place the jewelry properly.
- Increased saliva: The presence of a foreign object in your mouth may cause your salivary glands to produce excess saliva.
- Keloids and scar formation: If you are prone to keloids or to scarring, the site of the piercing may develop a raised scar.
- Swallowing the jewelry: If the jewelry becomes loose in your mouth, you may swallow it, or more seriously, it may block your airway.
Other possible dangers include issues with the teeth and gums and transmission of disease.
Tooth and Gum Problems
Since lip piercings are in close contact with the teeth and gums, there are a number of possible related issues that could occur.
- Gum erosion: This is caused when your jewelry rubs against the gums.
- Gum recession: Your gums may shrink or recede from the spot your jewelry comes in contact with them.
- Tooth scrambling: Without healthy gums, the jawbone itself can be exposed to infection and erosion. When this happens the teeth loosen and change position.
- Sensitive teeth: This is another by-product of gum recession. As the gums recede, the nerves of the teeth become exposed and sensitive.
- Tooth loss: This is the final outcome of gum loss and decay.
Possible Disease Transmission
While licensed professionals are usually diligent about sterilizing their needles and equipment, getting a lip piercing from someone not licensed may lead to bloodborne diseases. According to Web MD, oral piercings carry a potential risk for diseases such as herpes simplesx virus and hepatitus B and C. In order to avoid this danger, educate yourself about sterile procedures and make sure any piercer you choose is using them. This includes checking up on the shop to see how it has fared in recent health inspections.
Make an Informed Decision
While lip piercings are frequently seen by dentists and physicians to be less dangerous than tongue piercings, there are dangers, problems and concerns involved. Speak to your piercer and dentist about steps you can take to help minimize or prevent these problems from taking place. Make an informed decision about whether or not to get a lip piercing and follow proper aftercare instructions for any piercing to help ensure it makes exactly the statement you are after.