Tongue and Lip piercing are the new trend now in the young adults and with no age limit and no regulations governing the piercings it is easily available to everyone, it may look appealing but it is like inviting microorganisms into our blood stream as the oral cavity is richly supplied with blood vessels. It is more dangerous in people suffering from heart diseases, or people having any allergies to metals.
As for the history the first tongue piercing was seen in 1992 which is not too long as compared to other body piercings, and the first major complication also came into just some years after the first piercing.
There is a risk of contacting many dangerous infective diseases like HIV, Hepatitis. . .and other blood borne diseases, some complications of Tongue piercing which are more of a hindrance due to the presence of these metal structures in the oral cavity:
- Fractures of the teeth.
- Problems with eating.
- Loss of taste.
- Problems with speaking.
- Increased salivation.
- Injury to the gingival tissue.
- Scar tissue formation in the tongue.
- Barbells may obscure other dental problems during dental x-rays.
Apart from these problems there can be some life threatening problems due to piercings:
- Infection. Hepatitis B is the most serious threat. It can be transmitted in as little as 0.00004 ml of blood, it is proved that hepatitis is transmitted even through aerosols which are small as the size of chalk dust particle
- Transmission of Diseases: Organisms include HBV, HCV, HDV, HGV, EBV, HSV, HIV, tetanus, and candida.
- Airway obstruction can be due to swelling of the tongue, or swelling as a result of a severe cellulitis.
- Prolonged bleeding, especially if a large artery has been punctured.
- Aspiration of the barbell into the larynx or lungs, causing an airway obstruction.
- An allergic reaction to the metal.
Precautions to be taken before getting Tongue piercing:
- Make sure that the piercer is well trained and is maintaining good safety measures.
- Use Instruments Sterslized in an Autoclave.
- Make sure the piercer wears gloves, as transmission f blood borne diseases is at high risk and the transmission of disease can be either way.
- Jewelry made of good quality should be used like surgical grade stainless steel, solid 14-K gold, niobium, or titanium are the best recommended.
Care to be taken after Tongue piercing:
- Take proper doses of antibiotics so that there is no growth and spread of microorganisms.
- Apply ice over the pierced area for a day to prevent swelling.
- Look for any signs of swelling and fever, which can be signs of infection if seen consult a doctor immediately.
- Stop smoking, drinking, and consumption of any spicy food until the wound heals.
So as a Dental student and on behalf of the whole dental faternity i advice you not to go for Piercing, as it is only inviting trouble. And i finish with the statement i always say
Precaution is Better than Cure