These days teens are fascinated with tattoos and body piercings, and while these 21st century fads seem to be all the rage, but your dentist will tell you that there are some things that both you and your teen should be aware of, especially if your son or daughter has been considering oral piercing.
According to the American Dental Association, tongue splitting and oral piercing can cause serious health issues, and although it is a popular way of expressing oneself, it can be dangerous.
Your mouth is full of bacteria, and when you or your teens pierce your tongue, or cheek, swelling can occur. Reported cases even include an emergency tracheotomy because the person’s tongue swelled so much that it cut of the airway.
Your dentist has seen other problems with oral piercings and tongue splitting including choking, endocarditis and even hepatitis. Bite down too hard on the jewelry and you risk a cracked tooth not to mention the jewelry constantly clicking up against your teeth.
Pierced lips, cheeks, tongues, and uvulas, which are the tissue that hangs at the back of your throat, will interfere with swallowing, eating, and talking. Oral piercing can also cause swelling, pain and infection, as your mouth is moist and a breeding ground for bacteria. Infections can be life threatening, and if not treated immediately could cause serious problems.
Because people with mouth jewelry constantly play or bite on the ring or post, it can cause damage to gums eventually leading to sensitive and cracked teeth. Oral piercings can also cause damage to existing dental fillings.
Teens and adults who have oral piercings may not realize that they could be hypersensitive to metals causing allergic reactions. Nerve damage can also occur, and that numb tongue that you had right after the piercing occurred, could become permanent. If this happens it will affect how your mouth moves and your sense of taste. If the blood vessels in your tongue have been damaged you could be susceptible to excessive blood loss. Because tongue piercing increases your saliva flow, you could be subjected to excessive drooling.
Oral piercings and tongue splitting may be cool, but getting sick isn’t. Before you or your teens take the leap, talk to your dentist who can share some of the risks and dangers of oral piercing and tongue splitting.