Even though oral piercings are one of the most common piercings to get these days, especially with the smiley being on the rise on social media this past season, it’s important to remember that they’re done in a very delicate area of the body that is prone to bacteria growth, which can lead to difficulties during the healing process.
It is well known that our mouth is one of the most bacteria-laden parts of our body, with numbers ranging anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 bacterium living on each tooth. This makes it one of the areas most prone to infections in our body – not to mention, it’s also one of the areas that has the most action during our waking hours.This can also greatly affect healing – as we know, the least amount of stress a wound has to endure, the faster and nicer it will heal – and make no mistake, all piercings are wounds and need to heal.
Don’t worry though – it seems like an ugly scenario, but there are plenty of ways you can take care of your piercings to avoid complications, and it all starts with proper hygiene.
Many believe that improving your oral health routine and including things like flossing and mouth washing will help with avoiding infections and complications with your new piercings. It’s in fact the opposite – a change in your oral hygiene can actually increase the probabilities of complications occurring.
Like most parts of your body with a large amount of bacteria, a healthy mouth maintains a balance of good and bad bacteria. Using too much antiseptic mouthwash and other cleansers could offset your own internal balance, during a time when your body is already under the stress of trying to heal a fresh wound. Establish a good oral hygiene routine for at least a few months before you get an oral piercing, and then when you do, don’t change it.
The best thing you can do is wash it with salt and water, as any piercer will recommend, because this will help get rid of things like food leftovers without killing your bacterial flora. Mouthwash and toothpaste work against the natural bacteria growth in your mouth, and can very much stimulate more bacteria, or kill too much of it. You could inadvertently cause a fungal infection or other complications, such as irritations to the area.
In most cases with piercings, the leave-it-alone method is the best way to go for proper healing. Of course, try your best to avoid touching it and keep it as clean as possible, but increasing and including more steps to your normal oral hygiene routine is just generally not a good idea.
In regards to gums and teeth being affected by the jewelry during and after your piercing has healed – there is specific jewelry that can help decrease the damage. Those that are made from materials like rubber or silicone can be very helpful, but this is only recommended in extreme cases, as removing your jewelry while your piercing is healing is not a good idea, and it is best to consult your piercer.
Having redness around the area for a few days is normal, swelling as well, but remember: if you feel that what you’re experiencing is not what it should be, always talk to your piercer.
Lastly, for lip piercings – when the time comes to change your jewelry, it is always important to wait until it’s fully healed, so you can sport with confidence that piece of bling you’ve had your eye on for months. Speaking of, feel free to check out our new arrivals for lip bling here!
If you’ve never had an oral piercing before, the idea of getting one to properly heal may seem a bit challenging, but as long as you don’t change up a solid oral hygiene routine right in the midst of the healing process, and show your new piercing a little tender loving care, you should heal up just fine.
If something seems amiss with your new piercing, remember that professional piercers are people that take a great deal of pride in their work, and want to see their clients healthy and happy. Go back to your piercer and ask them to take a look at your piercing if you’re concerned there’s too much pain or inflammation in the area, and they can give you a professional assessment of how you’re healing up.