For many years, oral piercings were the height of fashion. Though they remain popular among some people, they have faded from the mainstream, and many people who had piercings before have had them removed, but what they couldn’t remove was the impact that the piercing had on their teeth and gums. One of the most common effects of a piercing is receding gums, which used to require surgery to correct, but now can be corrected nonsurgically.

How Piercings Cause Gum Recession

Gum recession due to oral piercings haven’t been completely studied, and most of our information comes from case studies, which document receding gums, gum disease, and even bone loss, as well as damage to the teeth. Based on the case reports, there seem to be three main reasons why piercings cause receding gums:

  • Irritation of the gums
  • Pressure on the gums
  • Infection

When you get an oral piercing, you are introducing a foreign body into your mouth. It’s similar to chewing on non-food items, but it’s constantly there, and it has the potential to rub up against everything in your mouth, including your gums. This will cause your gums to become irritated, painful, and inflamed. Eventually it will cause gum recession.

Sometimes, contact with your gums goes beyond simple rubbing. You may habitually press your tongue against your gums. Tongue thrusting in and of itself can be damaging to your teeth and gums, but with a piercing, the effects are magnified, and it’s possible to develop an impression in your gums and bones in the shape of your piercing.

Finally, your piercing can be a haven for bacteria, which can colonize the jewelry and the area of your tongue around the jewelry. This can be very hard to clean, and can harbor a bacteria colony that spreads into your gums, causing gum disease and gum recession.

Repairing Receding Gums

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your gums because of recession caused by your piercings, there is a solution. Nonsurgical gum treatment can restore your gums to a healthier position on your teeth. In many cases, though, it may be necessary to stop wearing your piercing before gum repair makes sense.

If you would like to learn whether nonsurgical gum treatment can restore your gums, please call 310-275-5325 in Beverly Hills or 949-551-5902 in Orange County.