Does Your Teen Want to Have a Tongue Piercing?
Most parents will not want to encourage their teen to pierce their tongue and in fact the reaction is likely to be quite the opposite, so what can you do if the subject arises? One thing to do is to point out the dangers of tongue piercing which include chipped teeth, damage to the gums, nerve damage, losing a sense of taste and suffering from infection or even tooth loss. In addition, tongue piercing can lead to a little problem with drooling. Most pediatric dentists, including Dr. Marina Krepkh will discourage oral piercings because of these risks.
Tongue Piercings and Chipped Teeth
It is quite common for dentists to see chipped teeth in people with tongue piercings. These chips can occur while eating or talking or even during sleep. Any type of tooth chip does require prompt attention and this is because a breach in the tooth enamel will allow bacteria to infect the tooth. If a chipped tooth isn’t treated then the infection can eventually reach deep inside the tooth and your child may require a root canal or in the worst-case, an extraction to deal with an abscessed tooth.
Any type of injury tends to cause swelling and the tongue is no exception. After it has been pierced it is likely to begin to swell and the problem is that some people will experience so much swelling that it can even cut off or restrict their breathing. In rare cases it may be necessary for a doctor to use a breathing tube which is passed down the patient’s nose until the swelling gradually subsides.
Tongue Piercings and Infections
The tongue is covered with many different types of bacteria and as soon as it is punctured these bacteria can enter the bloodstream. For this reason tongue piercings frequently cause infections and clinical studies are ongoing into how these bacteria can affect the general health. It’s possible for bacteria to even reach the heart where they can cause a variety of serious health problems. If your teen does have a tongue piercing that subsequently becomes infected then make sure you get them to see a dentist or doctor as soon as you can. In addition, a recent study found that stainless steel jewelry accumulates more bacteria than plastic jewelry so if your teen does insist on having a tongue piercing, try to persuade them to wear plastic jewelry which carries a lower risk of infection.
Allergic Reactions to Tongue Piercings
If your teen has allergic reactions to certain metals but still insists on having a tongue piercing, make sure the piercing studio uses the correct kind of metal or that they choose plastic.
If All Else Fails Make Sure Your Teen Keeps Their Piercing Clean
If you fail to dissuade your teen from having a tongue piercing, make sure they realize the healing time is around 4 to 6 weeks and they may experience quite a lot of discomfort during this period. Ensure they visit a reputable piercing studio and that they follow all the directions for keeping the piercing clean.