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Tongue piercing is fairly mainstream nowadays, but is it safe?  The most common problems from oral piercing include excessive bleeding; infection and injuries to the mouth and teeth; swelling; scarring; nerve damage and periodontal disease.

While it is uncommon, some oral piercing recipients have required inpatient hospital stays and antibiotics to treat tongue and the floor of the mouth infections.  It is also important to remember, that a scar is left in the tongue once the piercing is removed.

Nearly ½ of people with oral piercings report cracked or chipped teeth.  Piercings are also capable of fracturing some types of restorations, such as crowns made of porcelain or porcelain and metal.  Recent studies have also shown that the gums inside the front of the mouth are more likely to recede if the tongue is pierced, which is caused by pushing the piercing against the front teeth.  Gum recession causes teeth to loosen and fall out.

If you still decide to get an oral piercing, remember:

  • Acrylic balls and barbells are better than metal
  • Follow the piercing artist’s instruction on aftercare
  • Swelling is normal
  • Sore gums are typical
  • Oral piercings can interfere with eating
  • Oral piercing can affect speech
  • The area should be healed within two weeks

Before you decide to get an oral piercing, it is best to be sure to talk to Dr. Halsema first.