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Risks of oral piercing


By Oral Piercing, I mean when people pierce their tongue, lips and cheeks. This is a way to express their liberalized views. However, there are various risks involved in oral piercing which are very important to consider before going for a piercing.{{more}}

The piercing ornaments that are used come in different metals, which might be hazardous to one’s health. There are quite a few risks of oral piercings, such as allergies and infection. There are certain parts of your body that are at a higher risk of piercing and so is the case with oral piercing.


Bleeding is the most common early or immediate complication of tongue piercing. As the tongue is richly supplied by blood vessels, any damage to these causes enormous bleeding. So, major blood vessels should be prevented from being pierced. A professional body piercer usually has the knowledge about the location of important blood vessels and nerves of tongue and how to avoid them during tongue piercing.

Swelling and Pain

The body reacts to any kind of injury by swelling and inflammation, which causes pain. Also the swollen tongue is more liable to be cut between teeth during eating or speaking. Thus, the person should be very careful for the first few days not to bite the tongue.


There are greater chances of infection in the mouth cavity. The bacteria inside the mouth cavity have a preferential environment to thrive with the warmth and the moisture found there. These may enter the blood circulation through the cut blood vessels during the piercing. Also if you are wearing and removing the jewellery constantly, then the risk of infection in oral piercing gets aggravated.

Injury to nerves during piercing at the hands of untrained people can lead to the formation of traumatic neuromas which are very painful and affect the taste sensation.

Interference with

Deglutition (swallowing): Initially it is difficult to eat with the tongue pierced due to swelling and pain. Also the food gets stuck in the jewelry. People should avoid sticky food during the healing period and rinse the mouth after every meal.

Speech Impairment

With the tongue pierced one may have difficulty with lingual sounds such as ‘Ss’ , ‘SHs’, ‘JHs,’ ‘PHs’, etc, but with practice most get accustomed to the piercing and speak clearly without any difficulty.

Teeth Injury

Teeth may be injured by the oral piercings. Your teeth might get injured or chapped due to the friction created by the jewelry when it comes in contact with them. This could also result in harm to your crowns and caps and they might be scratched or stained.

Galvanism: The metal of the jewelry when comes in contact with the metallic restorations in the mouth creates a galvanic current/shock. This causes sharp pain whenever the two metals contact.

Gum Injury

The tongue piercing usually comes in constant contact with the gums of the lower teeth and irritates them while eating or speaking. This constant irritation causes the gums to recede, followed by resorption of underlying bone. Thus a periodontal disease has set in eventually, making the teeth loose in the socket. The teeth may become so mobile that extraction or splinting may be re­­­­­quired.

Dr Keith John

Email:[email protected]

Clinic: SVG Dental


Telephone: 784-456-2220

Cell: 784-526-0752