Oral Piercing Complications

There are many potential complications from piercings in and around the mouth. Most adolescents are unaware of the complications of intraoral piercing.


  • Tooth fracture or injury
  • Stud aspiration
  • Allergic reaction
  • Nerve damage
  • Speech impediment
  • Gingival recession
  • Infection

Management of Complications

  • If the patient presents with inflammation around a piercing, the clinician should:
    • Remove the jewelry
    • Perform local debridement
    • Start antibiotics
    • Provide close follow-up. Complications of oral infections include sepsis and airway obstruction

Apply Your Knowledge

The cases in this course are an opportunity to apply concepts that have been or will be covered in the subsequent slides. Cases can help guide your learning.

Note: Case responses do not count toward your module score.

If interested in Interprofessional Education (IPE) or Interprofessional Practice (IPP), please click the link below for additional resources.


Plastargias I, Sakellari D. The consequences of tongue piercing on oral and periodontal tissues. ISRN Dent. 2014.

Ziebolz D, Stuehmer C, van Nuss K, Hornecker E, Mausberg RF. Complications of tongue piercing: a review of the literature and three case reports. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2009; 10(6):E065-71.