There seems to be an ongoing trend with tongue modification and oral jewelry, but there is little to no knowledge of the kinds of effects these may have on a person’s oral health. Motivation for tongue splitting remains varied, from increased sensation to challenging oneself. The same can be said for mouth jewelry, specifically piercings, as people have piercing for a variety of reasons, mainly for its aesthetic appeal and enhanced sensation.
Many of these people find the tongue modification and jewelry to enhance their appearance, but most are probably unaware of the effects these things have on their oral health.
Tongue splitting is illegal in the state of Illinois, while some states have enacted laws that regulate the practice at a certain degree, such allowing individuals to split their tongues when they reach a particular age, or when they have parental consent. Body piercing, on the other hand, is legal for individuals who have reached a certain age, but the age depends on the state.
What Could Happen During a Tongue Splitting or Piercing Procedure
Pain and Inflammation – Splitting your tongue and piercing a certain part of your mouth is just like getting wounded. In order for you to get the changes you want, a part of you will be cut or pierced. This means you will be wounded and will undoubtedly experience pain and swelling in those areas. Depending on a person’s pain threshold, the inflammation can be either minimal that you can still eat and drink, or so severe that it could affect your capacity to breathe.
Infection – You probably have heard of a dozen piercings gone wrong and stories of people who have undergone tongue modification and ended up getting hospitalized for infection.
There have been quite a number of tetanus infections that have been reported following a piercing. The mouth is full of bacteria and cutting your tongue open allows these bacteria to infect the wound. Even the handling of jewelry that will be attached to a part of your mouth can bring germs on your hand to the pierced area or split tongue.
Food gets stuck in between teeth and gums cause decay and disease, which can also happen if food accumulates around a piercing. It is simply another golden opportunity for bacteria to breed and thrive in your mouth, not to mention cause sickness in the future.
Another disconcerting effect of the procedure is when bacteria enters the wounds brought about by piercing and tongue splitting and travels to the bloodstream. People with oral piercings are likely to get bacterial that could lead to a serious heart infection.
Bleeding – The tongue and other parts of the mouth is laden with blood vessels, so cutting and piercing can cause profuse bleeding.
Read the continuation of this two-part article to learn about the complications caused by piercing and tongue modification. Knowing the risks of such procedures can help people make informed choices and lessens the chances of injuries caused by lack of information. If you are going to get a piercing, seek the assistance of a licensed professional.