Thoughts on the trans-gum piercing

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.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on the trans-gum piercing

  1. “My list of piercings that I’ve seen that I do not believe should be repeated is a very, very short one.”

    That list (other mods included) could be interesting future MODBLOG material.

  2. I don’t know if its just the picture but it looks like the gums are graying around the post.

  3. My brother’s a dentist and mentions that there are also a nerve and an artery present in the incisive canal, and a piercing in that area would risk damaging either or both. Damaging the nerve could numb the front part of the palate, and the artery could cause a significant bleed (and repairing a bleeding artery /inside/ a canal would be involved).

  4. This sets my teeth on edge (Har har, see what I did there?).
    But really. This makes me feel uneasy. Icky.

  5. I remember seeing that picture a while back. Sure it looks good but the whole gum erosion and hard to pinpoint an “ok” placement, i dunno. Seems sketchy! Also, from my personal experience with terrible dentists, gums don’t heal or “scar” well… I’m curious as to what can happen to this thing in a while.

  6. Now I like extreme mods as much as the next person and whilst I would probably never get half the things that I read about on here, job and lack of funding being the main reasons I love reading about people experiences with them however this particular mod just pisses me of, as someone who has had to undergo significant dental surgery including a bone graft to the upper jaw and a couple of failed attempts at implants I fail to see why anyone would want to risk their teeth for something as inane as this… I would give pretty much anything to not having to spend the rest of my life wearing a dental plate but that’s never going to happen and my reason for having to wear one is because I got into an argument with a brick wall, ended up breaking my lower jaw in three places, knocking out all my teeth bar the molars and destroying most of the bone in my upper jaw specifically the ridge below my nose… so for the love of all that is sane do not risk your teeth or dental health for this sort of thing… trust me the cost is not worth it

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