Is tongue piercing really all that dangerous?

Yes. There are many risks involved with oral piercings, including:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Blood clots
  • Blood poisoning
  • Heart infections
  • Brain abscess
  • Nerve disorders
  • Receding gums
  • Scar tissue

Your mouth contains millions of bacteria at any given time, and the risk of infection from oral piercings is high. Tongues have been known to swell large enough to close off the airway.

After receiving an oral piercing, you may experience pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to your gum tissue. Nerve damage or bleeding that is difficult to control can result if a nerve bundle or vessel is in the path of the needle.

We recommend that you avoid getting an oral piercing altogether.

How can tobacco usage harm my oral health?

Tobacco in any form jeopardizes your health and causes incurable damage. Many teens believe that smokeless tobacco is a safe alternative to smoking. This is not true. Smokeless tobacco has been shown to be more addictive than smoking and more difficult to quit. In as few as three to four months, smokeless tobacco can cause periodontal disease and produce precancerous lesions (leukoplakia). Early signs of oral cancer include:

  • Sores that will not heal
  • White or red leathery patches on the lips, or on or under the tongue
  • Pain, tenderness, and numbness anywhere in the mouth
  • Changes in the way the teeth fit together
  • Difficulty chewing, swallow, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue

The early stages of oral cancer are usually not painful. However, if oral cancer is not diagnosed in the earliest stages, it is life threatening and can require extensive surgery to remove.

For additional information about adolescent dental care in Charlotte, North Carolina, we invite you to contact us at 704-688-1664 and talk with our pediatric dentists, Dr. M. Danielle Funny and Dr. Sonya Maynor. Our team at University Pediatric Dentistry wants to help you be informed about your child’s oral health.

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