Unfortunately, it can also be really dangerous
We’re talking about oral piecing.
That’s right – ears have become passé. Noses – that was so yesterday! Today individuals of all ages are opting for shiny objects protruding from their tongues, lips and cheeks in (at least for the moment) the ultimate form of edgy self-expression.
But before deciding that your tongue is really missing a shiny metal stud, it’s important to consider the costs – not to mention the natural characteristics of the mouth itself.
Let’s first consider that hot, wet environments (perfectly describes the mouth) provide the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Next, consider that a piercing is in fact a self-inflicted wound to the body – regardless of how flashy, elegant or expressive that wound might be.
Putting it mildly, bacteria and body wounds are a really crummy combination. When the two meet up, it can often lead to infection.
For those who are still keeping track, we’re up to our third point – an infection in your mouth really isn’t ideal! We know what you’re thinking – “Your dentists! Of course you would say that!”
True – but the bigger concern is the potential for mouth infections to affect other parts of your body. Like your ticker! If an infection at the piercing site enters your blood stream and travels down to your heart, a potentially fatal condition known as endocarditis can occur.
Getting all choked up
You may be getting all choked up right now, emotional that we’re causing you to have second thoughts about your oral piercing.
That may be true, but it’s still better than getting all choked up – literally!
One side effect of piercing (and wounds in general) is the potential for the affected area to swell. Please keep that important fact in mind should you decide to pierce your tongue. This can quickly create a dangerous problem if the tongue should swell enough to block the airway.
Other potential oral piercing issues include: temporary or permanent nerve damage (can impact your sense of taste and mouth movements interference with speech, chewing or swallowing; excessive drooling (no one’s favorite form of self-expression); chipped or cracked teeth; injuries to gums; allergic responses to the pierced site and hypersensitivity to metals.
There’s a lot to consider – really count the costs before deciding oral piercing is the way to go. Maybe a nice tattoo instead?