Tongue Piercing

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A raging fad of today is tongue and lip piercing. In fact tongue piercing has become readily available to everyone as these piercings are not being governed by any regulations. Piercing the tongue makes it convenient for microorganisms to enter into your bloodstream and your oral cavity. Many people suffer from allergies to certain metals or have heart conditions and to these people tongue piercings can prove very dangerous.

When it comes to getting the tongue pierced, there are many risks and adverse effects involved.

 Let’s start with the actual piercing. Firstly a marker is used to mark the spot on the tongue where the piercing will be placed. To prevent the tongue from moving it is held by some sort of a clamp. This prevents the needle from hitting a blood vessel or causing damage to a nerve by going through the wrong part. Usually a thick needle is then stuck into the tongue without the use of any anesthetic. The reason that no anesthetic is used is because the piercers are not licensed medical professionals and are not allowed to use it. A long barbell that is about 18 millimeters long is then inserted into the hole that is made in the tongue. Using a short barbell is avoided because it can get trapped inside the tongue if its swells around it. The initial 18 mm barbell is usually replaced with a shorter one if the tongue piercing does not get infected.

Tongue Piercing Risks

While many people today find it attractive to get their tongue pierced, there are several health related risks involved in getting the tongue pierced, which include:


  • Damage to teeth: Coming into contact with a tongue piercing can chip or crack the teeth ultimately causing the need for more extensive and expensive dental treatment
  • Problems with eating: The presence of tongue jewelry makes it difficult for people to eat properly and digest their food properly
  • Loss of taste: Those who get their tongues pierced even end up losing some of their sense of taste.
  • Problems with speaking: A piercing in the tongue also makes it hard for people to speak and may make it hard for you to be understood
  • Additionally, the gingival tissue can get injured, scar tissue can be formed and salivation can be increased because of the tongue piercing.

A tongue piercing can even cause life threatening adverse effects such as:

  • Infections: The risk of infections is increased because of the bacteria present in the mouth and the fact it can stick to the piercing.
  • Transmission of diseases: The transmission of organisms such as Hepatitis B, C, the herpes simplex virus, HIV, poses a potential life threatening risk factor when getting the tongue pierced.
  • Airway obstruction: Severe swelling of the tongue can block the airway and make it difficult to breathe.

While you may think a tongue or lip piercing makes you cool, it doesn’t. It can also affect you for the rest of your life!