Our grateful thanks to the Oral Health Foundation for bringing this story to our attention and for their CEO's input into this weeks 'on-air' report. Our grateful thanks also to the American Dental Association (ADA) for the support information below.
As the ADA states "Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression. Oral piercings or tongue splitting may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. That’s because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. For instance, your mouth and tongue could swell so much that you close off your airway or you could possibly choke if part of the jewellery breaks off in your mouth. In some cases, you could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on the piercing, and repeated clicking of the jewellery against teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing could also lead to more serious infections, like hepatitis or endocarditis."
Don’t pierce on a whim - do your research. Be fully aware of what you are letting yourself in for. Oral piercings can be dangerous and will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep.
Whether it be an oral or a body piercing, always make sure you find a reputable, experienced, licensed body piercing shop or piercer to carry out the piercing. Most local councils keep registers of approved piercers who have passed hygiene and safety standards, and who are regularly inspected by health and safety officers. Contact your local council for further information.
If you pierce your tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,) it can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. It may also cause:
If you already have piercings:
Listen to this weeks radio report
All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.