Tongue and Oral Piercings

By: J. Shahangian, DDS, MS- San Diego Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Tongue Piercing Is Not Cool
Some children are allowed to have small piercing (usually steel balls) on the lower or upper pare to the tongue.  Like a pierced ear, a tongue piercing is a small perforation on the tongue.

I do not recommend that your child get a tongue piercing because it can cause tooth loss, chipped teeth, scarring, loss of taste, infection, and drooling.  Due to these many risks, most dentists do not advice getting oral piercings.

You may wonder…how are oral piercings can be bad for my child?  Your mouth is filled with millions of bacteria that can cause infection.  Your child’s tongue could swell to such a size that it could partly block the airway or windpipe.[1]

Oral Piercing
In recent years, tongue piercings have become a fashionable trend.  What many people do not know is that even when precautions are taken for tongue piercing, it still does not prevent long-term harmful consequences such as swelling, chipped or cracked teeth, problems with taste and swallowing, and ugly scars.  Other complications can include chocking on a piece of loose jewelry.  The question you have to ask yourself is whether the risks are worth it?

However, the most severe long-term consequence from mouth piercing is damage t the soft tissues of the gums and plate, cheeks, and opportunistic infections.  An added risk of any piercing, including oral piercing, is the possibility of contracting a deadly disease such as hepatitis and HIV.

Like mentioned before, tongue piercings are a common form of piercing, but many of the risks are not known to most people.  These risks include uncontrolled bleeding and blocked airways due to a swollen tongue.

So many problems have arisen due to oral piercings that they have been banded in some states.[2]


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