Tongue Piercing and Health Issues

Teenagers love body art and often want various areas pierced or tattooed. Although some of this decoration is harmless, some can cause long-term problems. Tongue piercing in particular can cause various physical issues. Before you allow your child to have this procedure done, consider the possible negative effects.

Oral Health

Tooth-chipping is one of the more common problems caused by a tongue piercing. When the bar or another ornament is in place, you teenager may have problems leaving it alone. Many wearers constantly "worry" the bar, sometimes biting down on it. For many, this action leads to chipped or broken teeth. If a person grinds their teeth at night, they are more likely to have this problem. Although most of this damage can be repaired through fillings or implants, treatment can be costly. In addition, rubbing the bar against the gums can lead to gum disease and inflammation. If your teenager has a tongue piercing, they need to leave their jewelry alone.

Overall Health

Oral health is not the only thing compromised by tongue piercings: tongue piercings can expose your entire body to bacteria that can lead to inflammation at various spots in your body, possibly even your heart. Your tongue naturally holds a lot of bacteria, which can easily colonize your tongue stud or bar, especially if it is made of stainless steel or plastic. This bacteria is resistant to antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash, so it can cause serious health issues.

Piercing Care

When you first have your tongue pierced, you need to take special precautions. You should gargle with alcohol-free mouthwash up to five times a day for sixty seconds at a time. You should also apply sea salt to the outside of your bar or stud several times a day and also wash it with antimicrobial soap twice a day. The tongue will be swollen and may have discharge initially. You'll want to avoid acidic foods until the initial healing period is over.

Long-term care involves proper brushing, flossing, and use of antibacterial mouthwash. Extra care is necessary to help prevent gum disease and lower the risk of infection. Follow your dentist's recommendations for care and take care of any potential problems right away. Tongue piercing can be a fun way for your teen to express themselves, but it comes with additional responsibility. If proper care isn't taken, you can end up with excessive dental bills, and your child could have lifelong dental issues such as gingivitis or the need for dental implants