I think I have a well-deserved reputation for supporting and promoting the most extreme and risky mods. I’m all for that. However, I am not for stupidity, and here is one of those rare mods — a gum (or trans-gum) piercing, skewered between the roots of the front teeth with a labret stud — that, since it has gone proto-viral, I must speak ill of and recommend against for even the most experienced modification enthusiasts. Unfortunately, since this picture is floating around and being reposted regularly, with a lot of people saying “awesome”, I’m sure someone else will try it as well. But this isn’t like eyelid piercing or tongue piercing, which everyone thought at first was reckless and a terrible idea yet turned out to be much safer and possible than initially thought. This actually is reckless and a terrible idea.
Perhaps most importantly, in the absence of a dental x-ray (and a medically educated piercer with the intimate understanding of dental anatomy of a maxillofacial surgeon), there is a solid chance of striking or scraping the roots of the teeth or worse, the bone of the upper jaw. It is true that there are people with a significant gap in which a bar can be placed, but many people do not, and this isn’t anatomy that can be easily checked.
It should go without saying that gum erosion is a significant risk to the degree of being essentially guaranteed with enough time — and gum erosion up at this height, from both sides, is a great way to lose those teeth. Perhaps from the erosion alone, and perhaps by drawing in bacteria from that cesspool we call a mouth (as good at healing as it generally is). My list of piercings that I’ve seen that I do not believe should be repeated is a very, very short one. This trans-gum piercing is most definite on it, and I don’t think I will be proved wrong. I hope that people know that I’m about as far from conservative when it comes to body modification, and that I would not urge against a procedure wholesale lightly. I don’t think I’m risking my reputation as someone who is both risk-aware and risk-tolerant by saying this is stupid.
And finally, I want to make an important point about anecdotal evidence. Perhaps the piercing pictured above will heal. Perhaps it will even heal with ease, and without complication. Please don’t think that makes it safe. Anything can heal, no matter how far-fetched. Just because someone got lucky does not mean it will work again.