Tattoos and piercings are an increasingly popular and accepted form of self-expression, including lip and tongue piercings.
What you should know before piercing near the mouth
Piercing in or around the mouth come with a greater risk of infection than many other sites. The inside of the mouth which is almost constantly dark and permanently moist is teeming with bacteria, some ‘good’ and some ‘less good’. In normal conditions though, these bacteria do not cross into the bloodstream.
Infections in this region can quickly become serious, so pay attention to any tenderness, redness or swelling. A swollen infected tongue can cause breathing difficulties if it obstructs the airway. Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you notice these signs.
Beware the teeth!
It is very tempting – and hard to avoid – playing with the jewellery stud. Studies associate tongue piercings with three times the normal risk of cracked (broken) teeth. Plan to break the habit of nibbling on studs or clicking them against your teeth!
Playing with mouth jewels can cause gum damage leading to recession and sensitivity. Breakage of fillings is also common. Triple the risk of dental complications and ongoing costs!
Allergic reactions or sensitivity to the metal in the stud can occur with any piercing. Once again, such a reaction in the mouth can quickly become serious.
Other special considerations around mouth jewels
Unlike other common piercing sites, the tongue is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. Damage to nerves can be, but is not always temporary, and damage to a blood vessel can cause considerable bleeding.
Extra care should be taken to keep the stud area clean after eating and secure (or removed) during sports. They will also meed to be removed if dental xrays are required.
Making an informed decision
In short, there are more considerations than for most piercings when weighing up whether or not to have a tongue (or lip) stud.