If you are considering getting an oral piercing or already have one, you should be aware of the negative impact they can have on your gums. An oral piercing, especially a Monroe or labret piercing, can rub on your gums, causing inflammation and possible gum recession. With these piercings, it is important that you monitor the health of your gums. There are several things you can do before you get your piercing and while you are wearing your piercing to reduce your risk of gum damage.
Make Sure You Have Healthy Gums Before You Get Pierced
To avoid damaging your gums, you should make sure you have healthy gums before you get pierced. Healthy gums look pink and plump. They do not bleed when you brush your teeth or floss. If your gums appear white or dark red or if they bleed easily, you should visit a periodontal expert to discuss a regime for making your gums healthy before you get your piercing. This may include using a periodontal mouthwash and flossing regularly as well as going in for professional cleanings until your gums are less irritated.
While you are getting your gums examined, discuss your potential piercing with your periodontist. If you have larger gums, gums that are already recessed, or deep pockets, they may recommend that you do not get the piercing.
Select an Experienced Piercer
With oral piercings, it is imperative that the piercing is not angled. If the piercing is angled, the back of the jewelry will not lay flat against your lip. This will make it more likely that the edge of the piercing will irritate the gums by sliding between the gums and the teeth. An experienced piercer will take into consideration not only your lip, but also your gums and teeth when they are recommending jewelry and placing the piercing.
Choose Non-Irritating Jewelry
There have been many advancements in jewelry quality in recent years. You may want to select a bioplast or PTFE plastic jewelry. These are soft plastics that are medical grade and are specifically designed not to irritate sensitive areas. With a quality piercing and a soft, well-fitted piece of jewelry, you are less likely to cause trauma to your gums.
Maintain and Monitor Your Gums
Once you get your piercing, it is important that you monitor your gums for signs of irritation. If your gums change color around your piercing or if they begin to bleed more easily, you should consider taking your jewelry out more often and stepping up your oral hygiene.
You should regularly floss your teeth and discuss the use of a periodontal mouthwash with your periodontist in order to keep your gums strong. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you may want to make regular appointments for professional cleanings to help reduce bacterial in your mouth. You may also want to purchase an electric toothbrush to help stimulate blood-flow to your gums.
If Your Gums Are Damaged, See a Periodontist
If your jewelry catches your gums and creates a tear, if you notice irritation or recession of your gums, or if your teeth around your piercing become sensitive, you should remove your jewelry and make an appointment with your periodontist. They may be able to repair the damage with a gum graft. They will also be able to determine whether you will be able to continue wearing your current jewelry or another type of jewelry safely.
Before getting an oral piercing, it is important to understand the ways they can impact your oral health. It is important to establish a relationship with a dentist or periodontist who is experienced working with patients with oral piercings and who can help you maintain the health of your gums.