dimple piercing

Cheek Piercing Question

I received a question from a piercee who had gotten her cheeks pierced:


I got my cheeks pierced last Saturday. It didn't hurt at all and I was really happy with them because I had been wanting it done for so long. They aren't too far back, they are perfect. BUT.. the next day they were really swollen and have been getting more and more swollen everyday. The balls on the inside of my mouth are digging into my cheeks and I have no way to contact my piercer since I lost her card and it was done at a street fair and that is gone now. When i push the ball from the inside out, puss comes out.  It's a yellowish white color. All around the piercings on the outside is hard. I really don't want to take the piercings out since I have wanted them for so long and spent so much money on getting them done. I can't even go to a local shop because nobody around here does cheek piercings. (Nobody ever wanted to pierce them for me in the shops because of the risks, that's why I think it was so expensive) I also heard that if it is infected, (which I really hope it isn't) taking out the piercing could trap the infection inside when the hole closes... I've been cleaning them with saline solution and rinsing my mouth with water and the salt that the piercer gave me, and I am also taking Ibuprofen for the swelling and eating lots of ice and putting ice on my cheeks. I really need your advice! Thanks.

My reply:

Cheek Piercing Advice

I received this message from someone who clearly is in need of serious advice:

Subject: Piercing Question

"Elayne.....I'm an ameutar piercer and have excepted a client who wants her dimples pierced. she has chubby cheeks, but otherwise no reason not to go ahead with the piercing. I am not sure how to go about the procedure and were I should properly pierce. Can you share some advice?"

I sent him the page from my book The Piercing Bible called "The Worst Piercing Story" and it is all about cheek piercing:

Cheek Piercings

I received an email from a piercer who wanted to know about the safety of performing "dimple" or cheek piercings:
I have heard horror stories that piercing someone cheeks can hit a wrong nerve on someone. I was wondering if that was true? I was taught that there is no danger in doing this piercing?  Do you have a set measurement that you use on people as to make sure not to do any damage? I'm really uncomfortable performing any sort of piercing if there is a very big risk involved.
I explained that I no longer do cheek piercings due to the WORST complications that ever happened to somebody I pierced. For better or worse, it happened to me. In my book you can read the detailed explanation of why I don't do cheek piercings beyond the first molar. The areas of concern are the parotid duct and gland, rather than a particular nerve. I let her know she might be able to preview the story about it on page 119 of my book here on google books. She called her client who had been interested in getting cheek piercings to decline, and then she emailed me again in understandable frustration:
UHHHHHHHHHHH PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!! So I called my client back today and told her very nicely that I was no longer offering cheek piercings and explained to her why and even told her about the story in her book..... You know what her response was to this??? "Well do you know anyone else in the area that does them?" ??? WTF!!!!! Hello didn't I just tell you a horror story and explain to you WHAT can happen!!! uhhhhhhhhhh I just don't get people sometimes!!!
We can lead people to good information, but it doesn't mean they'll use it. Or in this case, I can't help thinking, "We can't educate people who don't have half a brain."
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