If your son or daughter has been talking about getting his or her tongue, cheek or lip pierced or is toying with the idea of tongue splitting, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can help you convince your teen otherwise.
Tongue splitting is a new fad that began in the late nineties and consists of splitting the tongue from the front to the back. After securing the two ends with fishing line, the tongue heals and looks much like a snake or lizard with a forked tongue. Unfortunately, this trendy new form of self-expression can cause infections, not to mention blood loss and a possible speech impediment.
According to Wikipedia, the longer the split, the greater the speech problems will be. Re-growth is another issue that people who have their tongue split have to deal with. The social consequences that your teen may have to deal with could be devastating as well. Although tongue splitting is becoming more common, it could still keep your son or daughter from landing that dream job or being accepted into a good school after high school graduation.
Executed the same way as ear and belly button piercing, your dentist explains that oral piercings can cause serious issues including infection, but tongue, cheek, lip and uvula, yes, you heard that right, uvula, piercing can cause serious problems for teeth and gums not to mention the rest of the body.
Because the mouth is home to a massive amount of bacteria, additional bacteria could occur from the piercing itself, not to mention the jewelry handling. Not only does this increase the risk of infection, but it can also cause serious diseases such as hepatitis B and C and the herpes simplex virus.
The wound that was created from the piercing could allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, and if your son or daughter has undetected heart problems your teen could develop endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the valves of the heart and the heart itself.
After the piercing, it is normal to experience some numbness, but your dentist has seen some cases of oral piercings that have resulted in permanent nerve damage. The nerve damage could cause movement problems that could affect the ability to eat and talk properly. Excessive bleeding can also occur, as can blocked airways due to swelling.
People who have oral piercings are more susceptible to gum disease and tooth damage as the jewelry worn comes in contact with the teeth and gums. Constant contact could result in gum recession, which could eventually lead to tooth loss. Teeth that are in contact with jewelry that is worn in the mouth can crack or chip as well leading to unnecessary trips to the dentist’s office.
Other problems include excessive saliva, leading to drooling, metal allergies, and jewelry aspiration. Jewelry aspiration occurs when a ring, barbell, or post becomes loose. If this happens it could cause choking or worse yet, damage to the lungs or digestive track.