If you are getting ready to get your tongue pierced, you may want to visit your dentist first to find out what he or she thinks about this subject. While tongue piercings are quite popular with teens and young people today, you probably do not realize how bad they can be to your mouth and teeth. Before you get the piercing, you should be aware of these two risks you are taking.
It could damage your teeth
A typical tongue piercing is made up of a small piece of jewelry called a barbell. This jewelry item has a stem that sticks through the tongue, and it typically contains a screw on the bottom of it and a ball on the top. The ball is the part you can see when a person has a tongue piercing.
According to WebMD, people with barbells tend to chew on them often, and this actually becomes a habit that leads to chipped teeth. Recent studies show that around half of people that have had these piercings for at least four years have chipped teeth.
While chipped teeth is a problem caused by tongue piercings, there are other types of damage they can also cause, including cracks in the teeth, receding gum lines, and a loss of teeth.
It can cause infections
The second problem tongue piercings can lead to is infections, and this occurs because the mouth is full of bacteria and germs. An infection could easily happen if your tongue is pierced from poor oral care, touching your tongue with your fingers, or from many other things.
If you develop an infection in your mouth, it could cause serious problems, including:
- Your tongue could swell up – Ludwig's angina is the name of the condition that occurs when the tongue swells up so much that it blocks a person's ability to breathe. This is a serious condition that can be fatal.
- You could develop endocarditis – This is a condition that occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream through your saliva. When this happens, the infection travels to the heart and can cause heart problems.
Getting a tongue piercing is a big responsibility that will require a lot of good oral care habits. If you decide to get this done, it will be important for you to take all the right steps to ensure that your mouth is as clean as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is by visiting a dentist like the one at Park West Dental Office Bridges on a regular basis.