What To Know Before You Get A Lip Piercing

Getting any body piercing is a big decision to make, and this is especially true when it comes to a facial piercing such as a lip piercing. With the relatively prominent placement of a lip piercing, you also don't really have the option of hiding your new body jewelry from the world, so it's even more important to know everything you can before getting pierced.


Then, of course, there's the aftercare for your fresh lip piercing once you get it done. That's another commitment in itself to ensure that your piercing heals properly. Sounds like a lot of responsibility, right? It's safe to say that it is. Piercer Brian Keith Thompson of Los Angeles's Body Electric Tattoo told Byrdie about the healing process and explained, "You're healing a fistula, and that's a tunnel of scar tissue being built around the jewelry, so it takes time. The body's going to seal off the exterior first to prevent bacteria, then it's going to start healing inwards, so it takes a while."

Lip piercings will require some extra homework

First, before you decide to get a lip piercing, you should know that it isn't exactly the same as, say, getting your earlobes pierced. There are multiple placements for lip piercings, and it's important to know which one you want before you make an appointment with a licensed piercer. Here, New York City-based piercer Johnny Pearce clarified to PopSugar that you might see multiple names used to describe the same piercing placement, saying, "The internet loves to make up new names for old things, and for that reason, you might find many conflicting nicknames for different lip piercings and piercing combinations."


Additionally, you'll need to make sure that getting a lip piercing won't go against the restrictions put in place at your workplace or any educational institutions you might attend. A 2011 piece published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) wrote that close to 25% of workers under age 30 at that time had a piercing somewhere other than their ears, so it is possible that this might not be an issue for you. Once healed, you could put a clear or flesh-toned piece of jewelry known as a retainer in your lip piercing to make it less visible to others, though this could still go against some dress codes.

Lip piercings and other oral piercings can cause dental issues

Another consideration to make before you get a lip piercing (or any other oral piercing) is your oral health. An article from HealthDay republished by WebMD discusses the risks that lip and tongue piercings can pose in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and describes a study that dives deeper into the extent of the harm caused by oral piercings. The same piece quoted Dr. Clemens Walter, who authored the study and commented, "Our study found that many people with oral piercings had deep pockets and gaps around their teeth, and receding and bleeding gums. These are all signs of periodontitis, also called gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss."


Other sources have noted similar findings, and the American Dental Association (ADA) advises against getting oral piercings. The ADA provides a lengthy list of possible complications related to oral piercings and related forms of body modification, from infections to tooth damage to the need for the surgical removal of a patient's body jewelry. If you have received a considerable amount of dental work already or if you are in need of it without the addition of an oral piercing, you might be better off skipping a lip piercing to avoid any issues in the future.