Body piercings have been there for quite some time now. From a simple ear piercing and a nose piercing, to tongue, lip and navel piercings in the recent years, body piercings have reached a different level all together. The more unlikely the spot of piercing, the better style statement it is. Yes, it may look out of the world and you would get a zillion appreciative glances. But the main glitch is that all this is not without the baggage of health complications. For instance, tongue piercing may pose grave health risks which in worst case scenarios may prove fatal. So in such a situation, what would you choose? Health or flaunting a style statement?
Complications that may Arise
The tongue has major blood vessels which are connected directly to the brain. Now, if the blood vessels in this area are damaged while piercing, it can cause tongue piercing infection which can spread to vital organs, most significantly, the brain. As mentioned earlier, in worst cases, infected tongue piercing can even cause death.
The process of piercing can puncture the blood vessels and as a result, severe blood loss may occur. The only way to get it corrected would be a surgery to mend the perforation of the blood vessel.
One of the major risks in conjunction with blood loss, is nerve damage. As most of us know, if our nerve is damaged, it cannot be corrected. If a nerve in the tongue is damaged, it may render the tongue useless. So tongue piercing and nerve damage have a close connection, which should be kept in mind before you decide on getting it done.
Dental and Oral Issues
When people get their tongues pierced, they opt for barbells. This leads to chipped tooth and fractures, according to dental experts. If that happens, crowns or fillings need to be used to repair the broken teeth. In addition to that, the tongue barbell can rub against the sensitive gum tissues and they would need to be dealt with a gum surgery, by a periodontist.
Another one amongst the many tongue piercing risks is neuralgia, which refers to a long drawn and severe pain. This can be really unnerving and an uncomfortable situation to be in. That pain may also cause problems in eating and speaking properly. The situation can further get difficult if food gets stuck in the barbel.
Hepatitis and HIV
Okay, the good news is that you can have either one at a time - hepatitis or HIV. The bad news is that there are chances that it may happen. How? Well, the reason is simple - an inappropriately and inadequately sterilized piercing instrument can pass on an infection to the person getting a piercing.
Gulping it Down
Last, but not the least, there is a potential threat of the jewelry being swallowed. Worse still, it can get stuck in your lungs leading to more problems.
Precaution and Prevention of these Risks
Well, the best way to avoid all these tongue piercing risks is not to get a tongue piercing at all! If at all you want to get one, the primary thing you need to do is to see if the place (studio) where you want to get the piercing is clean and credible and reputed. Rinsing your mouth with salt water and using a mouth wash too is recommended to keep the piercing clean. This is an extremely important aspect of tongue piercing care. Furthermore, keeping the jewelry (barbell) small and short will be helpful so that food does not stick in it.
Tongue piercing risks can surely be minimized by taking care of all these things. Still, if there is any discomfort or if you feel some problems cropping up, immediately consult a dentist.