Before putting your jewellery where your mouth is. . .
Tattoos and piercings are increasingly popular and accepted forms of self-expression, and this includes piercings inside or near the mouth.
The mouth is a unique environment
Unlike many other piercings however, the mouth carries a greater risk of the site becoming infected. Inside the mouth is almost constantly dark and permanently moist – providing ideal conditions for bacteria. In addition, the mouth is actually home to an array of natural bacteria. Normally, however these bacteria do not come into contact with the bloodstream.
Infections in this region can quickly become serious, so pay attention to any tenderness, redness or swelling. A swollen infected tongue can cause breathing difficulties if it obstructs the airway.
Other considerations before having your tongue pierced
- It is very tempting – and hard to avoid – playing with the jewellery stud of your tongue piercing. Nibbling, dragging it across the teeth or clicking against them, all take their toll. Studies associate tongue piercings with three times the normal risk of cracked (broken) teeth and damage to the gums leading to recession and then sensitivity. Breakage of fillings is also common. Triple the risk of dental complications and ongoing costs!
- Allergic reactions or sensitivity to the metal in the stud can occur with any piercing. Once again, such a reaction in the mouth can quickly become serious.
- Unlike other common piercing sites, the tongue is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. Damage to nerves can be, but is not always temporary, and damage to a blood vessel can cause considerable bleeding.
- Extra care should be taken to keep the stud area clean after eating and secure (or removed) during sports. They will also meed to be removed if dental xrays are required.
An informed decision
In short, there are more considerations than for most piercings when weighing up whether or not to have a tongue (or lip) stud.