In recent times, more and more people have started sporting body piercings. Last weekend, the world celebrated International Body Piercing Day.
As the name suggests, this day is a celebration of all kinds of piercings, something that has been practiced by men and women since prehistory.
Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to piercings.
If you’re thinking about getting a piercing, it’s best to be prepared for some of the symptoms you’re likely to experience. Soreness and swelling tend to be the most common couple of symptoms but know that damaged teeth, excessive bleeding and infection can occur in some cases.
Potential side effects include:
- Slight bleeding and in the case of blood vessels being severed while the tongue is being pierced, excessive bleeding.
- Swelling of the tongue – in severe cases, swelling can be severe and excessive swelling has the potential to close off the airway altogether. This can be life threatening.
- Infection risk, especially if good hygiene practices aren’t followed.
When it comes to tongue piercings, one of the most common types of jewellery used is a barbell. In case that means nothing to you, it consists of a stem that goes through the tongue and is held in place with screw caps at either end.
A study published in 2002 in the March issue of Journal of Periodontology looked at the mouths of 52 young adults with tongue piercings. The findings are rather interesting given almost half of the participants who wore either long or short barbells for four or more years had chipped teeth. Interestingly, the frequency of chipping was greater among those wearing short-stemmed barbells.
Meanwhile, the study found receding gums (which can eventually lead to tooth loss) in 35 per cent of those who had pierced tongues for four or more years and in 50 per cent who’d worn the long-stemmed barbells for two or more years.
As you’ve read here, choosing to get a piercing may result in some nasty and unexpected complications if you haven’t done your research. Be informed and if you’re seriously thinking about getting a piercing, have a chat to your NovaDental dentist first.
Make an appointment now by calling: 1300 549 750.