Tongue Piercing is a trend for some people but there are many complications associated and it is very important to make sure you are ready to bear up with the complications and take proper After Care.
Tongue piercing is inserting a foreign body into your tongue which as we all know a foreign body can be rejected by the body and lead to Allergic and Hypersentivity reactions and the metal object will affect Nerve functions, Taste abnormalities and many other complications.
Complications of Tongue Piercing:
1. Bleeding: It is the most common complication of Tongue Piercing because of the high vascular supply of the Tongue. The tongue is supplied mainly by Lingual artery which branches out into the tongue and if you get pierced by inexperienced piercing artist who does not know the location of the Branches of Lingual artery it will lead to bleeding complications. In patients with bleeding problems or on anti coagulants bleeding wont stop and lead to death if un attended immediately.
2. Infection: Infection is also a common consequence of Tongue piercing because of the large amounts of micro organisms in the oral cavity and piercing a tongue leads to a wound which can get infected and also sometimes due to the blood supply the micro organisms can go up the blood vessels and lead to secondary infection. Improper sterilization of piercing needles can lead to transmission of Hepatitis B,C,D, HIV/AIDS, syphilis etc.
3. Swelling and Pain: Swelling and inflammation is the most common reaction of our body to injury and because of the swelling the tongue comes in between teeth during chewing and talking and can lead to further injuries. This can lead to Secondary infections as well.
4. Accidental Ingestion or Aspiration: The Stainless steel bob can sometimes become loose and accidentally ingested which can lead to Respiratory obstruction which is a serious complication of Tongue piercing which should be attended immediately.
5. Nerve Injury: Tongue is supplied by Hypoglossal nerve and lingual branch of Trigeminal nerve, so tongue piercings can lead to Nerve injuries and also Neuromas which are very painful and often lead to loss of taste sensations.
6. Chipped Teeth: The presence of a Stainless steel bob can sometimes come in between teeth which can lead to Fracture of the tooth or teeth. The chipping of teeth can lead to sensitivity and Fracture of tooth can lead to periapical infections and may require RCT to treat it.
7. Allergy or Hypersensitivity to Metal: Foreign materials are sometimes rejected by the human body which is shown by Allergic or Hypersensitive reactions. Nickel is the most common material which leads to hypersensitive reactions and sometimes chap materials are made of Nickel.
8. Increased Salivation: Presence of a foreign body in the oral cavity leads to increased salivation by the Salivary Glands. And the constant presence of a Stainless steel bob leads to production of excess amounts of Saliva, which can drool out from the corners of the mouth.
9. Difficulty in Speech: Speech is caused most by Tongue moments and the presence of a round Stainless steel bob on the Tongue will interfere in Speech and some phrases – Sounds produced by movements of Tongue. It will take some time to get used to the presence of a metal bob in the tongue and till then some phrases will be difficult to spell.
10. Difficulty in Swallowing: Tongue has a major part to play in the Process of Swallowing or Deglutation as for swallowing the tongue has to touch the top of palate which is the Oral phase of Deglutation and with the presence of the Piercing there will be difficulty in completing the Oral Phase initially which the person will get used to in sometime.
11. Alteration in Taste Sensations or Dysgeusia: The presence of metal bob will lead to alterations in taste sensations due to injury to the nerves and this is a temporary affect.
12. Bad Breath or Halitosis: This can be caused due to infections and also due to food impaction in the tongue piercing which will lead to bad odor. Good Oral hygiene is required with constant Gargling after each meal and use of Mouth washes to control bacterial growth in around the piercing.