Five Reasons We Don’t Pierce Cheeks

Blog By M. Mitera

I’ve written a few blogs regarding why we won’t perform certain piercings and why. Sometimes, there are just places that piercings will not work out. Snake eyes piercings, microdermals on the hands, the Ashley piercing. All of these have high rates of failure or prolonged healing times. As piercers, we won’t do these particular piercings because we don’t want our clients to have to deal with any negative repercussions. We are very focused on the end result and usually, cheek piercings don’t have a good one. Unfortunately, the internet has made cheek piercings trendy again so we’ve put together five reasons you may want to rethink this particular piercing.

First off, the initial jewelry for cheek piercings needs to be extremely long. The swelling in this area is exponential and the jewelry needs to be able to handle that swelling, plus be long enough for the piercing itself. Because the bars have to be so extremely long, the snag potential is very high. Essentially, your face will look like it has two radio antenna sticking out of it while you heal these piercings. Most people are immediately deterred by the length of the barbells for the initial piercing because the jewelry must be so long.

Inside the cheeks are saliva duct. Just like the name says, these ducts produce saliva to keep the inside of your mouth moist. If one of these gets punctured, with a channel leading to the outside of your face, your face will actually leak saliva from the holes once you remove the jewelry. This isn’t a temporary issue either. Holes left from retired cheek piercings can leak for the rest of your life, never properly healing even after the jewelry has been removed. As cute as these particular piercings are, they aren’t worth a leaky face.

The area around your mouth is constantly moving, making these piercings very difficult to heal. With the movement from smiling, speaking, eating, etc. the jewelry is always shifting. This combined with the initial jewelry length can prove to be an extreme headache for most clients. With a heal time of up over a year, cheek piercings must be babied constantly to prevent them from bubbling up, another thing that this piercing is notorious for. Since their snag rate is so high, the chance of the client developing a bump is much more likely, as bumps tend to form when microtears happen inside the piercing and irritants get in. Even when the jewelry is removed, cheek piercings have a tendency to never heal correctly.

Additionally, the scarring from cheek piercings can be extreme. As mentioned above, they are more prone to bumps which can lead to very noticeable scars right in the center of the client’s face. Cheek piercing scars are not a joke and there is no way to tell how your skin will handle them once they’re in. Some people will argue that the scars look like dimples and can be cute. Yes, they can be, but they can also look like scars (which they are). There is no way to tell how your cheek piercings will retire once you decide that you don’t want them anymore. Some people (like myself) experience minimal scarring that is so slight, you can barely see it. Others (like my friend Brittany) have large purple circles where her cheek piercings used to be. It is so important to consider this before you get this piercing!

The last reason we advise against cheek piercings is the potential damage to your teeth and gums. There are three options for the back of the jewelry. You can wear balls, flat discs, or something referred to as M&M discs, which is kind of a middle between balls and discs. However, all of these have the potential to crack teeth and wear away at gums. Especially with the constant movement in this area, erosion of the gums is a very real possibility. Cracked teeth aren’t cheap to fix either. So if you do get your cheeks done, prepare yourself to be extremely careful while you eat!

We love piercings… Obviously! Otherwise we wouldn’t do what we do. But like I said above, we are very focused on the end result and these piercings do not have a good end result. Scarring our clients is not what we’re all about and with the potential for such brutal after-effects, we just won’t perform this piercing. If you do decide to get your cheeks pierced, make sure that you go to a piercer that is professional, knowledgeable, and clean. A serious piercing like this should absolutely not be done by a novice. If you have more questions regarding this piercing and other piercings we recommend against, please feel free to send us a message or swing by the shop!

About the Author: M has been a professional blogger for six years and has contributed to various websites. When she is not writing, she is a professional body piercing apprentice. M can be reached at and you can find her piercing only blog HERE.

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