Can my tongue piercing cause dental problems?
Body piercing has become an increasingly popular form of body adornment. In the world of piercing they say if you can hold a fold of skin between finger and thumb, you can pierce it. The tongue can be held this way and although not the most popular form, this particular piercing still has its fans.
Common symptoms of tongue piercing can include pain, swelling and sometimes the puncture can become infected. The oral cavity has a lot of blood vessels, particularly the tongue and if a blood vessel is punctured during the piercing, bleeding can occur that is difficult to control. In extreme cases, if the tongue swells severely after the procedure, it can compromise the airway and prevent normal breathing.
If all goes well and you don’t bleed or have trouble with swelling after the procedure, a tongue piercing can create a slight change in speech and create a lisping effect. Also the jewellery sitting in the mouth can contribute to chipped or cracked teeth. Even lip piercings can bang against teeth and cause damage.
Aftercare is most important with this type of piercing since there are millions of bacteria in the mouth that can become trapped under the jewellery and cause an infection. Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse after every meal but not more often than four or five times a day. The mouth rinse should take between 30 to 60 seconds.
Another way of keeping the wound clean is to use a formulation of iodine free salt in warm water. This salt solution should only be used twice a day for approximately 15 seconds.
Needless to say if you are going to pursue this type of body decoration make sure that you see an experienced, professional and clean piercer even though it’s impossible to know how your body will react. This will always be one of the more dangerous procedures to perform on an oral cavity. It is not the safest or most convenient form of piercing and from a dental point of view is not recommended.