Oral piercing (usually on the tongue or around the lips) is one of the more
disturbing fashion trends in recent years. Many people fail to realize that that
even precautions taken during the installation of a piece of piercing jewelry
are not enough to stave off harmful, long-term consequences such as cracked or
chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and ugly scars. Add
to this the possibility of choking on a piece of dislodged jewelry and one has
to ask if the risks are warranted.
But the most serious long-term health problems from oral piercing come in the
form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate, as well
as opportunistic infections. Any kind of body piercing may also put you at risk
of contracting deadly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
A common form of body piercing involves the tongue. Tongue piercings have been
known to cause blocked airways (from a swollen tongue). In some cases, a tongue
piercing will cause uncontrolled bleeding.
Some states actually regulate or ban oral piercing, so ensure that you are not
breaking any laws.