Risks of Labret Piercing

Written by maude coffey
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Risks of Labret Piercing
A woman with a labret piercing. (sexy black woman image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

A labret piercing resides in between the lower lip and the chin. A professional piercer places the piercing where it will heal safely in respect to the person's teeth and gums, while taking into account where the piercing looks aesthetically pleasing on the face. Ask the piercer any questions you have and voice any concerns before signing the paperwork at the shop. Check with work or school first to make sure the labret piercing does not violate a dress code.

Teeth and Gum Damage

When piercing a labret, the piercer inserts jewellery that is long in length or large in diameter to allow for swelling. After the initial swelling has passed, usually two to four weeks from the date of the original piercing, a shorter or smaller in diameter piece of jewellery needs to replace the initial jewellery. If the person refuses or forgets to downsize the jewellery, this results in the larger or longer piece rubbing against the teeth and gums. This also increases the risk of the gum recession and chipping of the teeth. When replacing jewellery with a smaller version, the jewellery is snug against the inside of the lip and has limited mobility. Professional piercing jewellery is made of stainless steel, titanium or niobium. Chewing on the jewellery also increases the risk of enamel wear and chipped teeth. Pushing on the jewellery with the tongue combined with chewing results in the skin around the piercing stretching and leads to the client having trouble finding jewellery that fits properly.

Irritation and Infection

During the healing period, labret piercings experience irritation, which is normal. The piercing is red, swollen, exudes fluids and forms crusts on the jewellery. The person often misinterprets normal healing irritation with an infection. If the person does not follow the aftercare guidelines given by a professional piercer, an infection is possible. The person should avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands, participating in activities such as deep kissing and oral sex and must clean the piercing daily to avoid infection. Unlike the symptoms of normal irritation, an infection has thick fluids exuding that have a bad odour and the person will experience severe pain, redness or swelling. The pain, redness and swelling are a mild discomfort when attributed to normal irritation. Allergic reactions are also common when wearing improper jewellery in the piercing. Purchase labret jewellery only from a professional piercer to avoid allergic reactions. Clothing stores, gas stations and flea markets carry jewellery with high nickel content.


Every recipient of a labret piercing will have minimal scarring. A correctly performed piercing that heals results in a scar the size of a pinhead once the jewellery is removed and the piercing closes. If a friend or nonprofessional performs the piercing, the resulting scar is much worse. Improper needles, such as sewing needles, heavy jewellery and incorrect aftercare products lead to a large scar underneath the lip. Products such as alcohol, which increase swelling of the piercing, are too harsh to the healing skin and burn the tissue. An infection from tools and needles that are not properly sterilised also lead to large scars.

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