Social Dental Network

Tongue Piercing?

In Dental Care on August 14, 2010 at 3:00 AM

We’re not getting into any philosophical argument here, debating the validity of tongue or lip piercing – or any piercing for that matter. Our only goal with this little posting, is to raise awareness about some serious complications that could result from any tongue or lip…maybe cheek, ear, nose, eyebrow, navel piercing…We’ll stop there, you get the idea.

We’re not here to preach, proclaim, or proselytize. For more info on health risks of oral or body/face/neck/appendage piercing don’t take our word for it, educate yourself and take responsibility for your health. And may we recommend credible sources like the ADA, here’s what they have to say about some possible risks associated with oral piercing:

The National Institutes of Health has identified piercing as a possible vector for bloodborne hepatitis (hepatitis B, C, D and G) transmission. Disease transmission (e.g., hepatitis B, tetanus, localized tuberculosis) has been associated with ear piercing, and cases of endocarditis have been linked to both nose and ear piercing.

Secondary infection from oral piercing can be serious. A recent article in the British Dental Journal reported a case of Ludwig’s angina, a rapidly spreading cellulitis involving the submandibular, sublingual and submental fascial spaces bilaterally, that manifested four days after the 25-year-old patient had her tongue pierced. Intubation was necessary to secure the airway. When antibiotic therapy failed to resolve the condition, surgical intervention was required to remove the barbell-shaped jewelry and decompress the swelling in the floor of the mouth.[1]

No matter which side of the divided tongue you currently reside, one thing is certain; your health is the most important thing. Whether it’s tongue piercing, tattoos, botox, or teeth whitening – use your head and weigh the risks, along with the benefits particular to your personal situation.


[1] ADA.org – http://www.ada.org/1891.aspx

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  1. […] caution with tongue-piercing jewelry. It can contribute to breakage of braces appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with […]

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