Sacramento Dentistry Group Answers: Do Lip Piercings Cause Bad Breath?

Lip piercings are a common form of jewelry, but they come with side effects. Can one of these side effects be bad breath? The Sacramento Dentistry Group uses its history with patient visitations and research to answer this question.

Piercings of various kinds show no sign of going away. Indeed, humans have pierced their bodies with decorative objects since pre-history. Nevertheless, oral piercings do present significant side effects. Recently the Sacramento Dentistry Group was asked if bad breath is one of them. Indirectly, the answer would have to be yes.

Bad Breath From a Lip Piercing?

A lip piercing itself does not cause bad breath. Although bacteria are certainly attached to it, just as they are to the oral tissues, that alone is not enough to significantly affect the smell of the breath. Piercings do, however, irritate the gum tissues. When irritated, the gums become inflamed and form pockets around the teeth, instead of wrapping the teeth and roots closely. Gum pockets are a preferred space for bacterial reproduction and they multiply rapidly in this environment. What is one of the significant by-products of oral bacteria multiplying exponentially in the mouth? That would be bad breath.

So while a lip piercing may not directly cause bad breath, it encourages gum disease by damaging the very tissues that are part of the body’s defenses against bacteria. And where there is gum disease, there is almost always bad breath.

What’s worse than bad breath, however, is the gum recession that usually results from a lip piercing. Check the area directly behind a piercing and the gum is usually worn away, compared to neighboring teeth. This leads to a greater likelihood of root cavities and eventual tooth loss.

So while the Sacramento Dentistry Group has no objection to piercings in general, the dentists at their downtown practice definitely discourage oral piercings of any kind. For more information, you may visit their website at or contact them at 916-538-6900. 

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group