Are you thinking of having your tongue pierced? You probably think it’s cool or attractive or else you won’t even consider getting one. While it may give you a daring or exciting image, you do have to remember that certain health risks are associated with tongue piercing. It’s best that you’re aware of these things so you can make an informed decision.
With the wound created by piercing plus the big amount of bacteria in your mouth, you become a very good candidate for infection. A lot of people who get their tongue pierced especially those who have it done in unsanitary conditions suffer from oral infection.
Transmission of disease
Piercing the tongue ups the risk of herpes, simplex virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C significantly. This happens when the equipment used to pierce your tongue has been previously used on a person who has any of this viral infection and it wasn’t properly sterilized before it was used on you.
The wound from the piercing makes way for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This increases the risk of endocarditis. This is a condition characterized by inflammation of the heart or the heart’s valves. People who have existing heart problems are at greater risk.
Nerve damage and heavy bleeding
The site of piercing will experience numbness, loss of sensation and even movement problems. If any blood vessel has been hit, you can expect heavy and continuous bleeding. After that, tongue swelling may occur and block the airway. It can make breathing very difficult.
It has been proved that people who have tongue piercings particularly the jewelry with long stem, also known as the barbell, are more prone to gum disease than those who don’t. That’s because the jewelry rubs against the gum tissue and causes injury over time. It also leads to gum recession that can pave the way to tooth loss.
The jewelry doesn’t only come into contact with the gum but also the teeth, causing them to crack and chip. According to a study published in a dental journal, almost 50 percent of people who wear barbell tongue jewelry for more than four years had one or more chipped or cracked tooth.
Difficult in eating and speaking
Having a piercing in your tongue makes it very difficult for you to speak audibly. It would seem like you’re always eating your words. It also results in difficulty in chewing and swallowing food. Therefore, it can affect your dietary habits. You may fall short of your nutritional requirements because you won’t be able to eat as much as you normally do. Other than these, your taste may also be altered and you may also have temporary or permanent drooling due to over production of saliva.
Allergic reaction to metal
Contact dermatitis is a hypersensitivity reaction of people to metal. Some people have this while others don’t and it’s possible that you get this reaction when you have your tongue pierced.
If you still decide to go for it despite the risks and dangers associated with oral piercing, make sure that you choose a piercing studio that has a health certificate, clean environment and sterilized equipment.