Tongue piercing is a fad these days, a bold style statement which lures many people especially teenagers to go for it. People tend to overlook the possible health hazards that are caused by tongue piercings. Apart from general health hazards tongue piercings have many oral hazards.
Seven common oral hazards associated with tongue piercings are:
1. Chipped or Broken Front Teeth
Many people who opt for tongue barbells end up with chips, cracks and fractures to their front teeth. These damaged teeth have to be repaired by using crowns or fillings and even these can wear out due to the action of metal over teeth.
2. Gum Surgery
Tongue barbells rubbing against the gum tissues can damage the sensitive tooth gums and have to be treated by surgery by a periodontist.
3. Swallowing the barbell
The piercing is subjected to constant stress in the oral environment and can get unscrewed. It could end up getting swallowed or get stuck in your lungs.
4. Infection and death
Major blood vessels connect the tongue with brain and other areas. Damaging such blood vessels can cause infection which can spread to vital organs of the body such as brain which in severe cases can even kill a person.
5. Blood loss and nerve damage
As mentioned previously, tongue has large blood vessels and you would need to get it surgically treated if one of them gets perforated.
Damage to any nerve of the tongue would mean irreparable damage and makes the tongue functionless.
6. Lingering Pain.
Tongue piercing has also been associated with cases of neuralgia which is severe and long lasting nerve pain.
7. Hepatitis or HIV
Instruments that are not sterilized properly can pass HIV infection to the person getting the tongue pierced. Hence, it should be emphasized that such procedures must be done at reputable clinics only or possibly avoided all together.