Even with good care, oral piercings can cause damage to teeth because the metal in every type of piercings is harder than tooth enamel. Everyday motions like talking and eating can cause the metal parts to rub against the tooth surface, causing irritation and pain over time.
If you’re already noticing damage from your oral piercings, porcelain veneers and composite veneers are a great option for correcting and managing that damage.
While porcelain veneers can take at least two appointments to, they’re an excellent choice for cosmetically improving your smile while protecting your teeth in the long-term.
The damage from oral piercings like midline tongue piercings can be subtle at first and may not be obvious or painful for many years. Lip and tongue piercings are certainly stylish, but the long-term effects on your dental health can be surprisingly high.
Most Damaging Piercings
Tongue piercings can be particularly damaging to the front teeth if the person likes to play with their piercing or tap it against their teeth. However, both tongue and lip piercings can rub against the gums and teeth to cause damage over time. Catastrophic damage can occur in case of injury to the mouth, which can cause piercings to collide with teeth and fracture enamel.
A pierced site could also cause damage to soft tissues given a sufficient impact. Connections like these can lead to infection and nerve damage.
Some lip piercings have high-quality plastic parts on the inside of the mouth, which minimizes damage. However, with long-term wear, these piercings can cause almost as much damage as metal piercings. Either way, your teeth should be checked by a dentist regularly to see if the damage has gotten bad enough that you need veneers.
How to Identify Damage
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent all damage to teeth. In addition to the damage to the enamel, oral piercings can also adversely impact your gums, which is not easily fixable. Piercings can rub the gums and cause them to recede away from the base of the tooth, which exposes parts of the tooth that are normally shielded.
Pain is the most obvious result of this damage, but sometimes, red gums and thinning or misshapen teeth will be the first sign you notice. A dentist can identify damage that may not always be visible to the naked eye. For example, a piercing could be causing tooth enamel to wear thin before it even begins to cause pain.
How Veneers Work
Dental veneers are commonly used to fix cracks, chips, discoloration and minor gaps caused by a range of factors. They’re typically made of porcelain. You may only need one veneer or several.
Your dentist will examine the damage to your teeth and determine the shape and shade for your new veneers to take to look realistic. Then, your teeth will be filed down for the new veneers to be fitted. Since porcelain is durable and stain-resistant, they can last for years if they are taken care of properly.
Porcelain veneers can be a good option for fixing damage from oral piercings. While they won’t necessarily prevent all future damage, they can act as a barrier that protects your original teeth. They also look very natural.
When to Get Veneers
If you plan on continuing to use your lip or tongue piercing, it may not be time for you to get veneers yet. Porcelain veneers are as vulnerable to damage as tooth enamel and continuing to have a metal piercing in your mouth can cause your valuable investment to become damaged quickly.
However, an experienced dentist who specializes in veneers can tell you whether or not it’s time to get porcelain veneers. Depending on the severity of the damage, veneers may be necessary even if you plan on continuing to wear a piercing.
For more information, or to find out if porcelain veneers are a good option for your oral health, please call Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at (248)-671-4745 or complete our online contact form.