The Dangers Of Your Teen's Lip Piercing

If your teenager has asked to get a lip piercing, it's important for you both to understand the dangers and potential consequences of wearing a lip ring. Lip rings can cause lasting damage to your teen's teeth and gums, especially if she wears the wrong kind of jewelry. Before you make a decision, discuss the following risks with your teenager.

Worn Tooth Enamel

Loss of tooth enamel while wearing lip jewelry is often caused by one of two things:

  1. Loose-fitting lip jewelry that moves around and rubs against the teeth
  2. Playing with or chewing on a lip ring while wearing it

Worn tooth enamel can cause a great deal of tooth pain and sensitivity. Since tooth enamel does not regenerate, the only way to fix this problem is by seeing a dentist like those at Larsen-Haslem Dental.

Chips and Cracks

If your teen has her tongue pierced, the piercer will likely insert a starter lip ring with a thicker gauge and longer length than a regular lip ring. This larger lip ring is used to accommodate any swelling that happens during the early stages of healing. After the swelling goes down, it's imperative that your teen goes back to the piercer to have the starter lip ring removed and replaced with a smaller piece of jewelry.

If this starter lip ring is not replaced within a short period of time, it will inevitably damage the teeth because it doesn't fit snug against her lip. If she desires to wear jewelry that is too large for the piercing, make sure she replaces the starter ring with a softer one made of acrylic or plastic to avoid unnecessary damage. Starter lip rings are typically made of surgical steel, so they can easily cause cracks and chips when they bump against the teeth.

Receding Gum Line

Make sure the piercing is done by an experienced professional to ensure it is positioned in a spot that doesn't rub against your teen's gum line. If the piercer places it in the wrong location for your teen's anatomy, the lip jewelry can cause the gum line to recede. If your teen wears a flat-back lip ring that is too long, she may also experience gum line recession.

Of course, the best way to prevent these three problems is by avoiding a lip piercing altogether. However, if your teenager is bound and determined to get her lip pierced, make sure she fully understands how to prevent the piercing from causing permanent damage to her teeth.