Office News |3 min read

Why Tongue Piercings Are a Bad Idea?

The Dental Risk of Tongue Piercings

Maybe tongue piercings aren’t as popular as they used to be, but as a dental office, we still see way too many of them than we’d like.

The truth is, tongue piercings have been around for centuries.  The Mayans and Aztecs pierced their tongues as a ritual and sacrifice to the gods.  It was practiced in the Middle East for similar purposes as well.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century when we began to see tongue piercings in American and European circus performers.  By the 1980s, tongue piercings became mainstream — but someone with a tongue piercing was viewed as unusual.

These days, you can come across anyone with a tongue piercing and not be surprised. To each their own, everyone is entitled to his or her personal styles.

However, a tongue piercing imposes serious and very real health hazards on an individual.

The American Dental Association and Canadian Dental Association have both been outspoken in their medical opinion regarding a tongue piercing.  In short, they both advise against it.

Let’s break down why this is the case.

Article Table of Contents

  • Possibility of Infection
  • The Possibility of Hepatitis C
  • Unwanted Side Effects
  • Expensive Dental Treatments & Procedures
  • Contact The Dental Experts Today

Possibility of Infection

The fact that there’s a 20% chance of infection after receiving an intraoral tongue piercing should be good enough reason to turn people away from the procedure.

An infection is the most common occurring ailment as a result of a tongue piercing.  Bacteria coats the tongue, so when you pierce it, all of that bacteria has easy access to enter your bloodstream and body.

If you are considering the procedure, two very serious conditions that can occur include:

  1. Ludwig’s angina
  2. Endocarditis

Ludwig’s angina is caused by the bacteria underneath our tongues.

In this case, the tongue would swell to the point where one might deal with the following problems:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty eating
  • Develop a fever
  • Even more serious symptoms!

Endocarditis is a condition where bacteria enter the bloodstream and find their way to the inner lining of the heart.

If endocarditis is not treated relatively quickly, it can lead to serious health complications.

The Possibility of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is transmitted via the blood of someone who has already contracted the disease.  It can be passed therefore by a needle that has not been sterilized properly.

Hepatitis C, along with the other forms of it, is a disease of the heart.  If contracted, it can cause liver damage, liver failure, and even cancer of the liver.  

So if you do get a tongue piercing (or any other piercing for that matter), make sure it is from a licensed practitioner who follows the proper hygienic procedures!

Unwanted Side Effects

If the possibility of Hepatitis C doesn’t scare you off, perhaps any one of these other possible side effects as a result of a tongue piercing will do the trick:

  • Bleeding
  • Drooling
  • Nerve damage
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Allergic reaction

Of course, with a tongue piercing occurring within the mouth, there are side effects that can directly harm your mouth and teeth.

Expensive Dental Treatment & Procedures

Another problem with a tongue piercing is that people tend to ‘play’ with the piercing in their mouths.

They push, pull, and wiggle the piercing jewelry against the teeth and gums, which can cause all sorts of dental problems — expensive dental problems!

Gum tissue can become damaged, teeth can crack and break, fillings and other dental restorations can become undone.

The cost to fix these problems (which cannot go ignored, unless you are willing to endure the pain) is not worth the tongue piercing.

Contact the Dental Experts Today

Whether you need a routine cleaning or you’re experiencing dental problems due to a Tongue Piercing, the dentists at Hylan Dental are ready to help you.

Our experts have the experience and education necessary to assist in all your dental needs. The ultimate goal at Hylan Dental is to always help you feel better, look better, and chew better! Click the link below for a Dental Health Consultation today!

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