A pierced tongue may look cool, but is it really worth the risk? You may end up facing nerve damage, drooling, infection, chipped teeth, taste loss, and tooth loss as a result of the piercing, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Because of these potential health risks, your Corona dentists strongly advise against getting an oral piercing. Below you will find more detailed descriptions of the potential damages of oral piercings.
For those who have had a tongue piercing for four or more years, 47% have chipped teeth. Chipping can occur while people sleep, talk, eat, or chew on the jewelry used in the piercing. For the lucky ones, the chipping only damages the enamel of the tooth, and a simple filling or bonding procedure can repair the damage. For others, the fracture may extend deeper into the tooth, resulting in the need for crowns, root canal therapy, or tooth extraction.
Swelling usually occurs after the tongue is punctured, and the swelling normally subsides after two to seven days. However, in some cases, swelling will persist, and in extremely severe cases it can inhibit or cut off breathing.
Bacteria cover the tongue. After the tongue is pierced, bacteria can enter into the blood stream, which leads to infection. Often, the symptoms of the infection can mimic those of the piercing itself, such as swelling and redness. This means that it could be rather difficult to detect infection initially, allowing an infection to worsen unchecked.
If you are allergic to certain metals, the jewelry used in your piercing can cause severe reactions, ranging from rejection of the piercing and anaphylaxis.
So You Still Want a Piercing?
If you decide to pierce your tongue despite the risk, protect yourself by following these simple suggestions:
- Research several different piercing studios and ensure that they follow proper sterilization procedures.
- Follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your piercer.
- Use mouthwash several times a day.
- After the healing process is complete, replace the large starter “barbell” with a smaller one to minimize the impact with your teeth.
- Attend your regular dental checkups and commit to any necessary restorative treatments should you suffer from chipped teeth.
If you have any questions regarding oral piercings, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Dental Associates of Corona at 951-273-9580.