ORAL PIERCING AND THE LESS SPOKEN FACTS

8 min


INTRODUCTION:

Jewellery is the most fascinating and attractive thing worn by the majority of people. Compared with men, women are more fascinated by jewellery. According to them, wearing Jewellery improves wellness and social status. Wearing Jewellery in different parts of the body is more common and so is piercing. The most attractive types of piercings are nose piercing, ear piercing, belly piercing, lip piercing, tongue piercing, etc. Out of this, the most common type is oral piercing.

This includes tongue piercing (most common), lip piercing, cheek piercing, gingival frenum piercing, uvula piercing, etc. This article aims to highlight different types of oral piercings and spread awareness about their complications to people.

WHAT IS ORAL PIERCING?

This is a type of cosmetic procedure, done in the oral cavity, in which accessories such as rings and studs are placed. These piercings attract most youngsters and teenagers. These oral piercings and attachments attract almost 1.5% of the young population.

More common in women (4.5%), when compared to men (1.5%). The tongue is the most common area for piercing, followed by lip, cheeks etc. These piercings fascinate most teens. Complications like HIV, AIDS and serious complications are common. This also results in serious dental complications.

TYPES OF ACCESSORIES:

RINGS:

Lip and tip of tongue are common regions for rings.

STUDS:

Often worn on tip of the tongue, lips, upper lip region and nasal areas.

BARBELLS (Dumb-bell shaped jewellery):

They have two studs or balls at the end. More commonly worn on the tongue (dorsoventral surface). Further, curved barbels are part of tongue piercings.

CAPTURE RINGS:

Semi-circle is the most common shape of capture rings.They do not meet each other. More commonly worn on the lips or tip of the tongue.

ALLOYS USED IN JEWELLERY:

  •  14 Karat gold or nickel frees gold.
  • Titanium alloy
  • Solid nickel-free platinum alloy
  • Fused quartz glass
  • Niobium alloy
  • And also polymer plastics

HISTORY OF ORAL PIERCING:

Oral piercing has an ancient history. Ancient tribal people practised tongue piercing more commonly. Moreover, they considered this as the symbol of their culture. Ancient Mayan culture, old American and African tribes practised tongue piercing. According to their ancient culture, they considered that there will be a small amount of bleeding while piercing the tongue. Hence, this makes the tongue more vital according to their culture.

TYPES OF ORAL PIERCING:

TONGUE PIERCING:

This is most common type of piercing. The different type of tongue piercing practised are,

  • Snake eyes piercing
  • Middle tongue piercing
  • Tongue frenum piercing
  • Uvula piercing
  • Venom piercing.

SNAKE EYES PIERCING:

This is a type of horizontal piercing in the tongue. The tip of the tongue contains 2 barbels (alternatively placed ). Hence, this appears like snake eyes. This type of piercing attracts a lot of people. They have the peculiar appearance of snake eyes. Further, this also resembles venom piercing.

There are fashion lovers who love to be on trend with this piercing. The healing period for this type of piercing is 4- 6 weeks.

MIDDLE TONGUE PIERCING:

In this type, Barbells (dumbbell-shaped Jewellery) attached in the midline of the tongue. Further, this is the second most common type of piercing. This procedure commonly uses barbells. Moreover, the healing period for this type of piercing is 4-8 weeks.  

Further, only when the healing is complete barbels can be removed. If removed before healing it will result in serious complications. People should be aware of this important complication before starting with their piercings.

UVULA PIERCING:

This also, a horizontal type of piercing. Uvula a small extension of the soft palate. A cylindrical small projection in the oral cavity. And, the uvula contains the capture ring. Moreover, the healing period is 8-10 weeks. This is quite longer than the usual time. Further, this is also a complicated one.

VENOM PIERCING:

Also called a side tongue piercing. In this, two holes placed on the tongue extended from the midline of the tongue to the tip of the tongue. Hence, the barbell or capture rings used for this type of piercing. Therefore, the healing period is 4-8 weeks.

LIP PIERCING:

The second most common type of piercing done is lip piercing. Further, there are many types of lip piercing, based on the position of Jewellery on the lips it is classified as :

  • Marilyn Monroe piercing
  • Labret piercing
  • Angles bite piercing
  • Medusa piercing
  • Smiley piercing ( gums or the gingival piercing)
  • Canine bite piercing
  • Cyber bites piercing
  • Dahlia piercing
  • Dolphin bite piercing
  • Horizontal lip piercing
  • Jestrum piercing.
  • Snakebite piercing
  • Spider bite piercing
  • And, shark bite piercing

MARILYN MONROE PIERCING:

In this type, the piercing is usually done on the left side corner of the lips. Moreover, this piercing was done to imitate actress Marilyn Monroe.

LABRET PIERCING:

The normal type of lip piercing done termed labret piercing. Further, this is the most simple type. Any piercing done on the bottom of the lips is labret in nature. Moreover, the healing period  3-6 weeks for this type.

ANGLES BITE PIERCING:

The piercing done on both sides of the upper lip. Hence, the name angles bite lip piercing. This also termed a double lip piercing. The healing period is 3 months. Also called an angel lip piercing.

MEDUSA PIERCING:

Also known as philtrum piercing. Moreover, the upper lip philtrum area is the common region of piercing.

SMILEY PIERCING:

Also called gingival piercing. This piercing extends from the upper lip to the frenum of the upper lip area. These piercings are not visible ordinarily. These piercings are visible only on smiling.

CANINE BITE PIERCING:

The canine bite piercing are done in the canine region. Involves both sides of the lip. Moreover, the canine tooth usually gives a sharp look and is located exactly below the eyes. Further, these piercings highlight the canines.

CYBER BITE PIERCING:

This asymmetrical type of piercing. To clarify, the philtrum of the upper lip and below the lower lips are common regions. They are symmetrical to each other. Therefore, it appears in one straight line and creates a cyber bite appearance.

DAHLIA PIERCING:

Dahlia piercing done on both corner of the lips.

DOLPHIN BITE PIERCING:

In this type, two piercings are done on the centre bottom of the lower lips. And these resemble a dolphin’s bite hence the name.

HORIZONTAL LIP PIERCING:

This horizontal lip piercing is done on the surface bottom of the lower lips and gives a horizontal appearance. The healing period is 8 weeks.

JESTRUM PIERCING:

Two piercings are done, one on the philtrum of the upper lip and the canter of the upper lips. The healing period is 12 weeks.

SNAKE BITE PIERCING:

Piercings are done on both corner of lower lips . This gives a snake bitten appearance.

SPIDER BITE PIERCING:

Here, the two piercings are done on the right bottom of the lower lips. This can be done on the right or left side of the lower lips. Resembles a spider bite appearance.

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SHARK BITE PIERICNG:

Similarly to the snake bite and spider bite piercing. These are two piercing done on both sides of the lips.

CHEEK PIERCING:

This type of piercing, done to highlight the dimple while smiling. This can be done on the right and left cheeks or on one side. Also termed as dimple piercing.

COMPLICATIONS OF ORAL PIERCING:

These piercings are fashionable and more teens get attracted easily. Before they get their piercings done, more importantly, should be aware of the complications they are:

  • Since the piercings are done on the vital areas with increased blood supply, these areas can serve as a place for infection. And so, excessive pain is common.
  • The blood vessels, the nerves have more chances to get damaged, resulting in paraesthesia (loss of sensation).
  • Further, damage to the blood vessels causes excess bleeding.
  • Swelling, if the Jewellery is removed before healing
  • Since needles are used for these piercings, There are high chances of transmitting HIV( human immune deficiency virus) and AIDS( Acquired immune deficiency syndrome) if contaminated needles are used for piercings.
  • Moreover, excessive drooling of saliva is common
  • There are high chances of ingestion or swallowing of the Jewellery if not placed properly. Hence, this can result in airway obstruction.

DENTAL COMPLICATIONS:

  • Gingival recession is the most common complication. To clarify, the recession is the receding of gums below their normal level. The most serious complication of smiley piercing is a gingival recession.
  • If the gums are receded below the normal level, the tooth’s root surface gets exposed in the oral cavity. As a result sensitivity, tooth mobility, calculus formation (deposits formation) can occur on the tooth.
  • Tooth abrasion is more common in the case of tooth Jewellery. To clarify, abrasion is defined as the wearing away of the tooth surface due to mechanical forces.
  • Gum injury or gingival injury is more common. Further, there is a high chance for systemic infections such as lip ulcers etc.
  • Tooth injury is more common in tooth¬†Jewellery. It’s very important to determine the size of the Jewellery. Large size Jewellery can result in tooth injury.
  • Moreover, swelling is also common

CARE TO BE TAKE AFTER ORAL PIERCING:

  • Do not consume, hot or cold foods immediately after piercing. Duration of 24-48 hrs very important after piercing. Consume a soft diet.
  • Use alcohol-free mouthwashes. Further, using alcohol-free mouthwash aids in faster healing. Saltwater gargling is the best. This reduces the chances of infection and also the size of the swellings.
  • Further, do not consume spicy foods as it aggravates infection.
  • Use a soft brush to brush as it prevents injury to the gums and teeth.
  • Further, avoid using dirty hands on the pierced area, this might contaminate and increase the chances of infection.

CONCLUSION:

To conclude, oral piercings are fashionable and on-trend. It’s okay to be on-trend but should know the complications of this procedure. And more importantly, we should know how to manage or the care taken after piercings.


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Dr Shalini S.G
I am a dental surgeon. I love travelling and listening to music and a passionate person in research and doing lots of presentation. My area of interest is pathology, diagnosis and forensics.