Delta Dental Plans Association, Oak Brook, Ill, a not-for-profit network of 39 independent dental service corporations, has issued a statement addressing the potential risks associated with oral piercings.

“Anyone considering an oral piercing should consult a dentist to discuss the possible side effects,” says Max Anderson, DDS, a national oral health advisor for Delta Dental Plans Association. “Or if you already have an oral piercing, make sure to schedule routine dental exams so a dentist can check for problems.”
According to Anderson, some potential risks include:

prolonged bleeding;
damage to the sublingual salivary glands;
aspiration (choking);
plaque build-up;
damage to the teeth and gums;
allergic reaction;
nerve damage; and

“If you decide to get an oral piercing and complications arise, schedule an appointment with your dentist,” said Anderson. “Dentists are trained to monitor and manage oral health problems and will work with a physician to manage more serious conditions.”
Anderson also stressed the importance of following any home-care instructions, including cleaning, provided by your dentist or piercing specialist, which may help prevent immediate, short-term, or long-term complications.
“Whether a piercing is through the cheek, lip or tongue, proper oral hygiene measures are critical and may help reduce the risks of some damaging side effects of oral piercing,” said Anderson.