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Oral piercings can create a wide range of problems for your health, oral and otherwise. Your mouth is home to huge amounts of bacteria, creating an ideal place for infection to start. If you have any signs of infection—swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing—contact your dentist or physician immediately.

Types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. They vary in their severity and causes. Mouth sores could be the symptom of a disease or disorder; infection from bacteria, viruses or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling. Your dentist should examine any mouth sore that lasts a week or longer.

Bleeding or sore gums can be a sign of gingivitis, an early and reversible stage of gum disease, or simply the result of brushing too hard or starting a new flossing routine. If your gums bleed regularly, or enough to worry you, make an appointment with your dentist or physician, it could be a sign that something else is wrong.

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