What is oral piercing?

Oral piercing is the piercing of the tongue, lip, or cheek. If you are thinking of piercing this area of your anatomy, have a complete understanding of the health-related risks. If you still wish to go through with the procedure, know what to look for in an oral piercing studio and how to care for the pierced area.

What should I look for in an oral piercing studio?

If you have decided to go through with the oral piercing procedure, here's what to look for:

  • Ask friends who have had their tongue, lips, or cheeks pierced and have had no problems as a result to recommend the name of the studio they visited.
  • Visit the studio. Ask to look at the studio's photo portfolio.
  • Ask to see the studio's health certificates.
  • Does the studio have a clean appearance, especially the area where the piercing is done? Ask if they use hospital-grade autoclaves for sterilization and/or use disposable instruments. Does the staff use disposable gloves?
  • Are all the needles, as well as the studs, hoops, and barbells, kept in sterilized packaging?
  • Are all staff involved in the piercings vaccinated against hepatitis B? They should be. Ask.
  • Staff should be friendly and willing to answer all of your questions.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/28/2017.

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