Smiley Piercing – A New Fashion Trend

What is a Smiley Piercing?

Smiley piercing is a new fashion trend where people can insert a tiny piece of jewelry at the frenulum. The frenulum is a thin, delicate oral tissue that just has enough space to accommodate such a body piercing. Whatever you’re desired look to impress or as an aesthetic fashion statement, different kinds of smiley piercing jewelry can be inserted to accentuate your beautiful pearly white smile.

An example of a smiley piercing

Image 1. An example of a smiley piercing

What do you need to know?

While a new and definitely radical body piercing, it joins the ranks of other unusual body piercings. We’ve had body piercings from simple earrings to drastic genital, tongue and even whole body piercings. But the concerns of these piercings are a bit delicate as we are dealing with a highly sensitive, bacteria-infested, highly visible body part, the oral cavity.

First is anatomy, we need to discuss where exactly this new, trendy piercing will be placed.

The upper lip frenulum

There’s a tongue frenulum also, but this one is of concern as it’s very thin and prone to be hit by your tongue and food particles. Its blood supply comes from one of many tributaries of the superior labial artery. Wounds that occur here are prone to bleeding substantially as the oral cavity is richly dense with many blood vessels.

The mouth is also home to millions of commensal or mutualistic bacteria that are responsible for keeping your mouth free of other harmful organisms such as Streptococcus species, Eikenella, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides species, Veilonella bacteria and Actinomyces fungi. It’s also where saliva can is produced and can lodge in.

The healing here can be impaired due to the nature of bacteria attempting to colonize sterile areas of the body and the constant dark, moist area that bacteria and other microorganisms can easily thrive. Moreover, the place is designated in medicine as the dangerous area of the face where any bacterial dissemination can find its way into the brain.

How Much Does it Cost?

A smiley piercing typically cost around $30-$80 depending on the professional fee of the artist as well as the kind of jewelry to be put. The procedure is not unlike that of a dental as in order to perform a safe and aesthetically pleasing smiley piercing with little to no discomfort, a hygienic standards, excellent anesthesia and equipment are needed.

You would probably need to ascribe to an antibiotic prescription to eliminate bacteria that may have been dislodged from the piercing. This will most likely account for the reason of the price of the piercing.

What’s the Procedure Like?

Your artist will first check your upper lip frenulum if it can support the type of smiley piercing jewelry you want to have as well as the size of the your frenulum. The artist will then inject a local anesthetic such as lidocaine to the frenulum and surrounding parts of the oral cavity to eliminate the sensation of pain. The artist will then use a sterile, sharp needle to pierce the frenulum to the size of the jewelry to make it fit. A small amount of bleeding may occur here and the artist will take necessary step to control it with. Afterwards the jewelry is inserted and checked if its fits well.

smiley piercing

Image 3. A freshly done smiley piercing


Once you get you’re piercing, it is important to follow sound medical advice and hygienic practices to allow you’re piercing to heal as quick and efficiently as possible. Like all invasive procedures, your artist will give you some pain medications like Acetaminophen tablets or Aspirin in case the wound becomes sore.

Most likely, some antibiotics will be prescribed by your friendly physician or dentist to provide prophylaxis against bacteria that may attempt to colonize your fresh piercing. Finally, oral hygiene is critical, brush your teeth and use an alcohol free toothpaste and mouthwash as this will irritate the mucosa and may impair wound healing.

You may also use a salt gargle to cleanse your mouth every once in a while. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of water will do the trick, but be careful not to use too much salt as this may actually delay the healing process as well.


While your smiley piercing may have gone as planned, there are still a few concerns left to tackle. One is migration and rejection, this concern is when a well-placed smiley piercing suddenly migrates or causes pain in the following months after the procedure. Smiley piercings are not for everyone as not everybody as a big frenulum that can accommodate the jewelry.

Even then, constant movement of the oral mucosa in daily functions such as speaking, singing and eating food may put stress on the frenulum causing the smiley piercing to be in pain. Another thing of concern is infection, if all goes well and the piercing holds, the chance of infection is slim.

but when an infection does happen, the wearer might feel feverish or experience pain and discomfort at the smiley piercing area. You may then have to consult your local doctor on what kind of antibiotics and pain medications to be prescribed to heal and avoid pain at the site of infection.


Smiley piercings are no doubt a beautiful fashion aesthetic, but like all body modifications, great care must be taken to ensure that it is both pleasing to the eye as well as safe.

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