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You must have seen friends of yours going for oral piercing and you might be thinking that it's so cool and stylish. But, oral piercing isn't so cool as you may think it to be. Oral piercing may lead to serious infections like hepatitis or endocarditis.
Oral piercing is done by making a small hole in your tongue, lips, cheek or uvula, so that you can insert a piece of jewellery. It can be dangerous as apart from making you look stylish, your mouth is filled with bacteria that can lead to infection and swelling.
Also, it can damage your heart valves and make it harder for you to breathe. The risk is even higher if your tongue starts bleeding a lot due to many blood vessels in the area.
The jewellery pierced in your mouth can also cause issues as well like you can chip your teeth on it while you eat, speak or sleep, damage your tongue, gums or filings, it can lead to an allergic reaction to the metal in the jewellery, and it can lead to serious health problems like gum disease, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Due to these health risks, the American Dental Association doesn't approve of oral piercings.
Who Cannot Get A Tongue Piercing?
- People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and hemophilia are more at a risk.
- People who have small tongues.
- People with veins in wrong places like there are people who have the vein in the centre of the tongues. This makes it even more difficult to pierce it.
- Usually people from 14 years to 16 years of age are not allowed to have tongue piercings as their tongues are way too thin.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting A Tongue Piercing
Safety is more important and make sure that you are up to date on vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis B. These are the following tips you should keep in mind.
1. Firstly, pick a piercing shop that is neat and clean and the piercer has to have a license.
2. The piercer should keep his hands clean, wear fresh disposable gloves and use sterilized tools.
3. The people who work in the shop should be vaccinated against hepatitis B.
4. The shop doesn't use a piercing gun and the needle needs to be new.
5. The needle should be placed in a sealed container after its use.
6. The jewellery should be made of solid gold, platinum or surgical steel.
7. You should inform your piercer whether you are on any sort of medications or not or whether you have any sort of allergies.
8. Make sure that you are fit and fine because you cannot have a piercing if you have cough or cold or if you are on antibiotics.
9. Keeping your mouth clean by brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
What Should A Licensed Piercer Check before Piercing?
The piercer will first check your veins by using a blue light to locate your veins. This will help them to know the positioning of your veins.
The piercing should never be too close to your teeth and it should be straight down the middle of the tongue.
Also, a piercer shouldn't pierce closer to the tip of the tongue as it can cause speech obstruction and discomfort in the mouth.
Tips To Take Care After Piercing
Once you are done with piercing, ensure that your piercing doesn't get infected when you are out. The healing takes 3 to 4 weeks and during this time you should keep these following tips in mind.
1. Rinse your tongue after every meal or snack that you eat.
2. It is advisable to use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash and a clean toothbrush.
3. Consume small bites of healthy food and avoid spicy, salty or acidic foods and drinks.
4. Do not kiss anyone while you are in the healing stage.
5. Do not drink hot drinks like tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
6. You are also not supposed to take paracetamol or an aspirin.
7. Avoid drinking alcohol or any fizzy drinks.
8. Also, you are not supposed to smoke as it can cause discomfort, infections and swelling.
9. Avoid putting your hand in the mouth, as germs can spread.
10. Clean your piercing at least once or twice a day, especially in the morning and night.
11. While brushing your teeth, you can use lukewarm water to wash.
When You Should Get Help
Common short-term symptoms like pain, swelling and extra saliva are normal. But, look out for these signs of infection like redness, lots of bleeding, a bad smell, discharge, fever, rash, and a stinging sensation.
If these symptoms are consistent, seek a healthcare provider immediately.