The use of intraoral jewelry and oral piercings have been gaining much popularity among adolescents. Surveys of adolescents and young adults age 13 to 29 report that about 25 to 35 percent have a body piercing at other body parts besides the ear lobe. However, despite the trendiness of this body art, it can cause several serious consequences that both the teenager and parents must understand.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the significance of educating the public on the health implications of oral jewelry or accessories and perioral/intraoral piercings.
Do Oral Piercings Lead to Injury and Disease?
Adolescents with oral piercings have higher risk of having oral infection, nerve damage, oral pain and swelling. The injuries linked with oral piercing vary, making such tiny fashion statement worth the risk.
In addition to a greater risk of oral injuries, adolescents with intraoral jewelry can face an increased risk of contracting a disease. Numerous studies have found that it can lead to gingivitis or gum inflammation, gum recession, metal allergies and cavities.
Tongue and lip piercings are strongly associated to gingival recession, based on a study. Gingival recession was apparent in seven to 50 percent of all patients with lip piercings and 37 to 46 percent of patients with tongue piercings.
Furthermore, oral piercings that involve the lips, tongue, uvula and cheeks have been linked with pathological conditions such as scar formation, tooth fractures, pain, infection, speech impediment, periodontal disease, hepatitis and Ludwig’s angina.
Life-threatening complications linked with oral piercings have been reported. This include bleeding, endocarditis, edema and airway obstruction. Also, the use of dental jewelry such as grills, has been found to cause periodontal issues and dental caries.
Unregulated piercing techniques and parlors have been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a possible route for disease transmission such as tetanus, tuberculosis and hepatitis, as well as the cause of bacterial endocarditis.
How to Deal with Your Child about Oral Piercings
The dangers presented by oral jewelry and piercings far outweigh the trendy benefits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry strongly opposes the use of jewelry on oral tissues and the practice of oral piercings due to the possible pathological condition associated with these practices.
Talk to your child about the possible risks involved with piercings before getting one. Also, if he/she already has an oral piercing, be sure that they maintain it disinfected and clean, and that they removed it before joining any sports or activities involving direct contact, so they can avoid getting serious oral injury.
No parent wants to see their child in pain. That is why Mint Kids Dentistry want to ensure that you know the signs and symptoms of a dental infection. Dental infection is a serious problem. If left untreated, it could cause damage to other teeth and may spread to other parts of the body, which can cause life-threatening infection on the neck, brain and face in severe cases.
What is a Dental Infection?
Also known as tooth abscess, it is a pocket of fluid (pus) caused by bacteria present inside a tooth. The pus forms as the body tries to fight back an infection. The infected area seems completely normal, but usually it becomes painful when the pus inside the body cause an increase in pressure. Often, the area will be soft, swollen and tender, and will appear like a pimple surrounding the gum.
When this happens, the tooth decay is deep, affecting the pulp, blood vessels and nerves. The gum and its surrounding tissue will eventually be infected, and the infection may spread from the roots all they way to the bones.
In children, tooth decay is the primary cause of tooth abscess. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Cavities are very common that by the age of 5, nearly 60 percent of children in the US will have cavities at some point. However, the real problem is when the cavities and decay are left untreated, which leads to infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Dental Infection
As a parent, you must check your child’s mouth regularly. You have to be sure that your child is flossing and brushing his teeth. If you do this regularly, you’ll have to higher chance of catching any dental problem before they become worse. In addition, watch your child for the following signs and symptoms of tooth abscess or infection.
How Your Dentist Treat a Dental Infection
During an appointment, your dentist will examine your child’s teeth using a dental instrument. She may also ask for an X-ray to check for erosion of the bone on the infection site. If your child has a tooth abscess, the dentist will drain the pus and prescribe antibiotics. Sometimes, she may have to pull the infected tooth. This will not be a problem for young children as it will be replaced by a permanent tooth. But for those with permanent tooth, a root canal may be needed to clean and get rid of the infection, or the dentist will have to extract the tooth.
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