If you want to pierce your tongue, lip, cheek, or anywhere else in your mouth, there are some things you should know before you take the plunge.

If done incorrectly or without attention to detail, oral piercings can cause bleeding, infection, and permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Fortunately, with the right precautions and proper aftercare instructions, the odds of complications can be reduced greatly.

Read on to learn more about the risks and complications associated with oral piercings so that you can make an informed decision about whether this type of piercing is right for you.

Risk of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

If you’re considering getting an oral piercing, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. Hepatitis B and C are both blood-borne viruses that can be transmitted through contact with contaminated blood or body fluids.

Though the risk of contracting either virus from an oral piercing is low, it’s still possible. Symptoms of hepatitis B include fatigue, fever, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Hepatitis C symptoms are similar but also include abdominal pain and dark urine. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Risk of Nerve Damage in Your Mouth

One of the risks associated with oral piercing is nerve damage. The nerves in your mouth are delicate and can be easily damaged. When damaged, they can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in your mouth.

In some cases, the damage can be permanent. It’s important to note that these complications often happen when people use a sharp object like a needle to pierce their tongue or lip. Make sure you go to a professional who knows what they are doing if you want this piercing done safely.

Difficulty In Eating and Speaking Before the Piercing Heals

Eating and speaking can be difficult before the piercing heals because the jewelry can rub against the gums and teeth. This can cause increased sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding. In some cases, the jewelry may need to be removed so that the area can heal properly.

If you have any problems eating or speaking, you should see your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. They will examine the area, remove the offending jewelry if necessary, and recommend a treatment plan for healing.

Risk of Bacterial Infection

One of the most common risks associated with oral piercings is the risk of bacterial infection. This is because the mouth is full of bacteria, and when you pierce your mouth, you create an open wound that bacteria can enter.

If not properly cared for, a bacterial infection can lead to serious complications, including sepsis (a potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection) and bad breath.

It is of the utmost importance that you pay attention to all the symptoms above and seek treatment immediately if they do occur to prevent long term damage.