Labrets are an increasingly popular form of piercing that sees a ring or bar placed at the centre of the lower lip, directly above the chin. You might think they look good, but labret piercings can come with a number of serious oral health complications. Having such a piercing will not necessarily mean that you experience them, but it will drastically increase your chances.
1. Tooth Wear
Labret piercings might not seem as serious as tongue bars since they have less chance of striking the teeth with force and virtually no chance of accidently biting down with force on the ring or bar. However, wearing a labret piercing can actually be worse since the bar or ring will tend to rest against one or two teeth at the front of your mouth. Though it won't strike them, it will be repeatedly scraped across the surface of the tooth. This damages the enamel, which forms the hard protective layer of each tooth; when the enamel is compromised, the tooth's ability to fight decay is significantly diminished.
2. Gingival Recession
Gingival recession, or receding gums, refers to the process by which the gums around your teeth pull back. This is problematic since it exposes the roots of the teeth, thereby increasing the likelihood of periodontal issues. Gingival recession can affect anyone, but studies have shown that labret piercings put you far more at risk. One study demonstrated that recession was recorded on 68.13% of participants who wore a labret piercing; of the unpierced control group, only 22.2% showed signs of recession, and recession severity was not as great as it was in the pierced group. The study concluded that wearing a labret piercing might increase the chances of recession from 34.4% before piercing to 80.8% afterwards.
Your mouth is a moist environment that, however much you brush and floss, will always be a potential breeding ground for bacteria. When you pierce any part of your mouth, it's possible for an infection to occur. If this happens, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth, and the labret's proximity to your jawbone puts that area at particular risk. Even if infection doesn't spread, it can make brushing and flossing your teeth difficult until treatment can take effect.
Finally, people who suffer from sensitive teeth should be particularly wary of labret piercings. Due to the loss of tooth enamel, recession of gums, and the general sensation of having a foreign object pressed against your front teeth, you may find that sensitivity to hot and cold increases. If you were already sensitive to high and low temperatures, the additional sensitivity caused by a labret piercing could prove close to unbearable
For more advice, contact a dentist.Share
9 November 2016
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.