About oral piercings
For tongue piercing, see my other article.
Tips for the care of healed oral piercing jewellery.
To avoid or remove plaque (yes, the same as what gets on your teeth) from your tongue piercing jewelry, simply brush it a bit when you brush your teeth. It’s easiest when using an electrical toothbrush. For this you don’t even need to remove your jewellery. This way you keep a better hygiene and you can avoid irritations to your piercing. On top of that, your jewelry stays nice and shiny! It’s also important to change your jewelry every once in a while. If you’re wearing jewellery of a flexible material and are not sure which one, I strongly recommend it. It can unnoticeably get severely damaged by biting or other, and become porous and harbour bacteria which will cause irritations and infections. Titanium jewellery are good for long term wear. If you have fixed the balls tightly, you can even wear it for “ages”. Because of this, you could “forget” your jewellery. If that’s your case, I would recommend to at least remove it and take a good look at it and probably clean it. If it has become dull or the layer of plaque is too thick to remove with a simple brush, it might be a good time to change it. For this, you could ask for the help of your piercer.
After getting my snakebite piercings, I feel pain. Is this normal? What can I do? I think it’s infected. How do I know for sure and what can I do about it?
When you’ve just gotten your snakebites pierced, both in one go, you can experience some discomfort. Your lip can swell up, sometimes quite a bit, just like after any piercing, but this can be a bit more than expected when you get two piercings in one site. Also this can explain the pain.
To fight the swelling you could suck on popsicles and ice cubes. Make sure you do not consume any alcohol as well as use any alcoholic product to take care of the piercing or piercings. Read more about the right way to take care of the piercing on this website.
Can a smiley piercing swell up if performed by a professional?
Yes but mostly just shortly and barely noticeable. But I have seen smiley piercings performed by “professionals” that still were placed too high and more on the lip itself than in the frenulum of the upper lip as should be. This can be harmful. Always look for a good, trustworthy piercer.
Can I use lip balm or something like that on my labret or lip piercing?
No. Consult the aftercare instructions for further details.
How can I best take care of my cheek piercings?
The same way you take care of a labret. Take care of the inside with saline rinses or use an alcohol free mouthwash, either of both three times a day. Take care of the outside with saline soaks as you would any other piercing.
The hole on the outside of the labret often stays visible when you’ve abandoned your piercing. The inside on the other hand, grows shut very quickly. When you’ve bitten the inside of your cheek, the next day, you’ll find you don’t feel it anymore and barely feel a scar. It works exactly the same way for oral piercings. You could help the outside of your piercing heal by massaging it daily with vitamin e oil for example. Of course, make sure you wash your hands and the skin you’re about to massage too. When your piercing was recently removed and want to fully abandon it, firstly rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day or saline to help it heal properly.
How do I take care of my smiley piercing?
Saline for mouthwash, twice daily should do the trick. A good daily oral hygiene is very important. Be careful when eating, the first few days, the ring could be flipping up and down, it takes a little getting used to.
I think my smiley piercing is infected, what can I do?
Are you sure it’s infected? Rinse your mouth twice daily with either saline or an alcohol-free mouthwash. If you experience pain for longer than 3 days, I would recommend to get in touch with your piercer.
My labret seems to be growing in the back/inside of my lip… Now what?
If you’re past the indicated healing time and you really have the feeling the back of the jewellery is getting deeper “inside” your lip, you might indeed need a longer bar or ring. Have that done by a professional.
The skin around my lip or tongue piercing is swollen, now what?
It can happen in different ways. You bit your tongue or your jewellery got caught somehow, you tried to remove your jewellery to change it but that didn’t work out, you’re a bit under the weather or something else which made your tongue or lip swell. If it’s one of these, it should pass after a few days. Otherwise, you could try different things to make things better:
- Drink cold water
- Try to stay off it, do not touch it, don’t play with it.
- Avoid hot or warm beverages
- Rinse your mouth with warm saline
- Take a painkiller
- Eat carefully, take small bites
- Avoid mashed potatoes and such food because it can stick to your jewellery.
- Smoothies, shakes, energy drink, popsicles, soup are ok during swelling but make sure the soup has cooled down enough.
- Be sure to wash your hands before eating to avoid further irritations and infections and possible pain.
- Salt, hot/peppered, sour food is to be avoided.
- Avoid aftershave or other products alike that contain alcohol on your piercing. This could sting and cause a reaction with your piercing.
- Do not share your lip balm or lipstick with friends, this can cause infections. Avoid lip balms that are to be applied with the tip of the finger, these can quickly harbour bacteria.
If you have this problem more often, it’s advisable to have it checked out by a professional. If it’s infected, it can stay this way and even get worse if you remove the jewellery.
How can I best remove an oral piercing and have it grow shut?
An oral piercing heals very quickly. This because of the micro bacteria in saliva. These are good bacteria that make sure that every thing that gets in your mouth during the
day gets filtered so you don’t swallow something you shouldn’t. Thanks to this, anything inside your mouth heals very quickly. For instance, when you’ve bitten your cheek, the next day you don’t even feel a scar or anything. A piercing in the mouth is, after removing jewellery often closing up within the hour. This could be the cause of your having trouble re-inserting your jewellery. I would advise you not to force it, if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. If you do, you could end up with ugly bumpy scarring that is very hard to get rid of, if this is even possible. An abandoned lip or cheekpiercing often leaves a small hole for a scar. This can stay for the rest of your life. But some are left with nothing at all to prove they’ve had a piercing. You can always help your scar to close healthily by rinsing with saline. The outside of the piercing though… you could try Aloe Vera gel or massage it with vitamin e oil before bed.
How do I change my cheek piercing and what should I look out for?
Change your piercing for the first time preferably with the help of your piercer to ensure it is fully healed and you can’t do any damage. Other than that it’s relatively the same thing as changing a lip piercing or labret except your cheek is a little more “fragile” if you will.
What can I do to avoid or heal piercing pimples on my cheek piercing?
Bumps and lumps on cheek piercings can actually be different things. Cheek piercings are risky. During placement, important glands can get nicked if ill placed by an inexperienced professional. This is why you should always make sure to consult an experienced professional. This bump can be a piercing pimple but it could also be something entirely different. Firstly, try the saline soaks and rinses twice daily and consult with an experienced professional. They should try and change jewellery if the material is not to be trusted or it is too short.
The troubles I’m having with my oral piercing are getting worse when I use antibacterial mouthwash. What should I do?
Make sure you’re using alcohol free mouthwash and not more than 2 or 3 times a day for sure. If the situation does not improve within 3 days, switch to saline all together.
My lip piercing is stuck because of lymph. Is this bad? Should I get it to come loose?
A fresh piercing secretes lymph as a form of protection and natural wound cleaning. When it dries up it can stick to skin as well as jewellery which can make both feel “stuck” to each other. Don’t worry. When the piercing’s healed the crusties from dried fluids will also be gone and your piercing will be loosened from the skin as it should. Saline can make the healing more comfortable and rinse away crusties build-up.
What are the pros and cons of cheek piercings?
A cheek piercing is a risky one. There are glands, nerves, muscles, veins… any one of these can get nicked when it’s not performed by an experienced professional. It can cause infections, permanent damage, leakages… When abandoned they can leave dimples, permanently. Also getting these piercings done is a little more intense than getting a lip piercing. The cheek is thicker and there are more nerves. I have you laying down for the procedure to ensure best comfort possible.
What should I do if my dentist doesn’t want me to get an oral piercing or wants me to get it out and abandon it?
An oral piercing can be harmful for your teeth. So dentists are somewhat right to be scared of oral piercings. But not all piercings truly form a danger for teeth. A tongue piercing should be placed correctly to avoid continuous contact with teeth or gums. But even when it is well placed it can harm your teeth if you keep playing with it. So don’t, ever. This goes for all piercings. Playing with your piercing can harm the fistula of it. So it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve had the piercing and how well it’s healed. Make sure to lose the habit and explain this to your dentist and he or she might open up to the subject. But if damage has already been found I could understand if you dentist remains fixed on the idea or you abandoning your piercing.