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While tongue and other oral piercings may give you that certain “look”, you may want to think twice, or maybe even three or four times before having your lip, tongue or cheeks pierced.

People who have oral piercings have an increased risk of an infection in their mouth, chipping or cracking their teeth, injuring their gums, and an increased exposure to disease. They are also at greater risk for receding gums and periodontal disease. If a blood vessel is punctured during the piercing process, prolonged or serious bleeding could result. The piercing process will also put a person at a greater risk for blood-borne diseases such a hepatitis. Pain and swelling are also complications from oral piercings. A severely swollen tongue could close off a person’s airway.

Researchers have discovered that steel tongue studs can harbor biofilm, which are microorganisms that can cause staph infections. Wearing a tongue stud for a long period of time may cause a space between the front teeth from the stud continually making contact with the teeth.

All things considered, jewelry in youth mouth is not a good idea. However, if you have oral piercings and plan on keeping them, it’s important that you stay in touch with Dr. Chuck Majors at MajorSmiles in Bryan, Texas. In addition to regular checkups and cleanings, the doctor will want to examine the piercings for signs of infections or problems, and advise you on how to care keep the areas clean and safe. You should also contact the office if you experience swelling, pains, bleeding or redness around the piercing, or if you develop a fever, chills, or pain. If you are considering piercing your tongue or any part of your mouth, if you have questions about piercings, or it is time for a checkup and cleaning, contact our office at 979-776-6600.