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860 Summit St. #134 Elgin, IL 60120

Tongue Piercing

Unfortunately, tongue piercings can have a serious impact on health.  Pediatric dentists routinely advise adolescents to avoid intraoral or perioral piercings for a number of good reasons.

First and very important fact, there are a growing number of unlicensed piercing parlors in throughout the country. Such parlors have been recognized as potential transmission vectors for tetanus, tuberculosis, and most commonly, hepatitis. Second, a great number of painful conditions can result from getting a tongue piercing – even in a licensed parlor. These conditions include:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Blood clots
  • Blood poisoning
  • Brain abscess
  • Chronic pain
  • Damaged nerves
  • Fractured/cracked teeth
  • Heart infections
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Periodontal disease/gum recession
  • Problems enunciating
  • Scarring

What are the most common tongue piercing problems?

Most commonly, severe pain and swelling are experienced for several days after the piercing episode.  The new holes in the tongue are especially infection-prone, because the oral cavity is home to many bacteria colonies.  In addition, saliva production may increase as the body responds to a completely unnatural entity in the mouth.

Are there long-term problems associated with tongue piercing?

Long-term problems with tongue piercings are very common.  The screw-on balls constantly scrape against tooth enamel, making teeth susceptible to decay and gums susceptible to periodontal disease.

If the tongue bar is inappropriately long, it can get tangled around the tongue or teeth.  In a similar way to an earring getting ripped out of the ear, a tongue bar can be ripped out of the tongue.

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