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Piercings can be everywhere on the body, even inside the mouth. However, oral piercings in the tongue, cheeks, or lips can actually be very harmful for your oral, and overall, health.


It isn’t unusual to experience some swelling after you get a piercing. However, the swelling caused by oral piercings can block the airway to your throat and lungs.


Because your mouth is full of bacteria, an oral piercing is more likely to get infected and stay infected. This can result in a more serious infection such as hepatitis or endocarditis.

Fractured Teeth

Constantly having metal clicking against your teeth can result in fracture, especially if you bite on your piercings. A cracked tooth can lead to other problems such as tooth decay.

Gum Damage

You not only damage oral tissue through the piercing hole, but to the surrounding tissue as well. Piercings can lacerate the gums and cause them to recede from teeth.

Nerve Damage

Your tongue may feel temporarily numb after a piercing. However, sometimes this condition is permanent and can affect how you move your mouth.

Other Problems

Oral piercings can cause several issues including:

  • Impeding dental care by blocking x-rays.
  • Creating a choking hazard if a part of the piercing breaks off in your mouth.
  • Interfering with chewing, swallowing, and speech.
  • Prolonging bleeding of the tongue.
  • Altering sense of taste.
  • Increasing saliva production which can lead to excessive drooling.