Tongue piercing is one of those things that a lot of people do on an impulse and then end up regretting for a very long time. Unlike piercings in other parts of the body where the skin is pierced, the tongue is all muscle. It has a lot of important structures running through it, as well as communications with other parts of the body.
There are a number of complications that can occur with a tongue piercing.
1. Infection: The tongue will treat any piercing as an injury and trigger a healing response. In most cases, this should be fine, however the open wound can get infected due to a variety of reasons. The needle being used may not be completely and properly sterilized or the immunity of the person getting the piercing may be compromised and so the invasion of bacteria is not fought off by the body's defense.
2. Nerve Damage: There are a number of nerves running through the tongue. These are easily and commonly damaged during tongue piercings. This will result in a loss of taste sensation, altered taste sensation or even partial loss of movement of the tongue. A severe sensation of pain may also be felt during nerve damage. Nerve damage is notoriously slow to heal and in many cases the recovery is never complete.
3. Communicable diseases: Whenever there is anything that pierces your body, there is the risk of infection. HIV and hepatitis are commonly transmitted from person to person due to use of common needles. If you absolutely must get a piercing, then choose a respectable studio where you can be sure of hygiene protocol being followed.
4.Bacterial Endocarditis: Anyone who has had a valvular replacement is extremely susceptible to bacterial endocarditis. Technically speaking, anything from eating to brushing your teeth can cause an increase in the bacterial levels in the blood stream, ultimately allowing them to colonize the artificial valve.
The oral cavity is a rich source of infection as there are a number of bacteria colonizing it on a daily basis. Procedures like tongue piercing increase this release of bacteria into the blood stream and can cause bacterial endocarditis.
5.Damage to the Teeth and gums: Having a hard metallic object in constant contact with your gums and teeth is not a smart idea at all. The constant friction that the gums are subjected to will result in recession leading to poor aesthetics, sensitivity and loss of support for the teeth.
It is also extremely easy to damage the teeth during everyday functions like mastication or even during sleep. This can cause a cracked tooth, which is one of the most painful things that you can experience.
6.Aspiration: Accidentally swallowing the piece of jewelry on your tongue is way more common than you would think. Often, the body does not accept the foreign object and tries to reject it. This is seen as delayed healing, pain and eventually the loss of the pierced object. As it becomes looser with time, it can easily be ingested, leading to a whole host of other problems -- particularly because it is long and has a pointed end.
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