Oral piercing

Oral piercing

What is oral piercing?

Oral piercing is the insertion of metal jewellery into the lips, cheek or tongue. It has become increasingly popular in recent years.

What are the possible side-effects?

There is an increased risk of infection within the mouth, so ensure your piercing is done by a professional with excellent hygiene standards.

Oral piercing can also cause tooth trauma, hypersensitivity to metals and an interference with speaking and chewing.

Breathing problems may arise if the jewellery is accidentally swallowed.

I had my tongue pierced two days ago and it is still swollen. Should I be worried?

No. Swelling of the area is normal and can last three-to-five days. This swelling can be reduced by sucking on clean ice.

The piercing may also bleed on and off for a few days, and the area can become discoloured. This too is completely normal. However, if there is a lot of bleeding or it is continuous, visit your doctor.

It is also not unusual to see a yellow secretion coming from the piercing. This is not pus, however. It is blood plasma, lymph and dead cells, and it indicates that the piercing is healing.

If any of these signs persist, seek medical advice.

What about oral hygiene?

It is important to keep the inserted jewellery clean, as plaque can form on it. Brush the jewellery with a firm toothbrush. Be careful during the healing period however as the area will be quite sensitive.

Replace your toothbrush with a new one for the healing period. Ensure that your hands are completely clean if you need to touch your mouth for any reason.

Do not use mouthwashes that contain alcohol during the healing period as they will irritate the area.

Any other tips?

I took my piercing out for a few minutes and the hole started to close. Is this normal?

Yes. The jewellery should be left in at all times. Even healed piercings which you may have had for years can close after a few minutes if the jewellery is removed.

If you want to take the jewellery out to wash it, immediately replace it with a spare one so that the hole doesn’t begin to close.

Back to top of page