Before your adolescent decides to “be cool” and get a mouth piercing, you need to get a strong message across – oral piercings are dangerous.
What the ADA Has to Say
The American Dental Association, or ADA, takes a dim view of oral piercings and the wearing of the related jewelry. While oral piercing and jewelry is a form of self-expression, it also can lead to some serious dental problems. Most often, adolescents wear jewelry on the tongue – the most common site where oral piercings are placed. The ADA adds that the complications that result from the piercing can be varied and extensive. For example, piercings and the wearing of intra-oral jewelry can trigger infections, bleeding, swelling, and even damage or chip teeth. Placing jewelry inside the mouth or on the lips can also lead to lacerations and scars and gum recession. In some instances, embedded oral jewelry may require surgical removal. In addition, oral piercings can lead to lesions inside the mouth, and can cause hypersalivation or a purulent discharge where piercings are made.
Going to the Extreme
Indeed, oral piercing can lead to some extreme practices, and goes beyond a mere form of self-expression. It can also lead to injury and permanent damage of the intra-oral structures. Therefore, parents need to sit down with their kids and explain the dangers of piercings and what may happen if their child decides to pierce his or her tongue and lips. The ADA advises against piercings of the intra-oral and perioral areas, including the advanced form of body modification, called tongue splitting. Because tongue splitting is inherently invasive, not to mention harmful, it can lead to some serious complications. These complications may include infection, lingual and neural damage, and excessive bleeding. According to the ADA, any of the above practices frequently lead to negative consequences – consequences that strongly outweigh any trend-setting benefit.
Do you have an adolescent who is interested in oral jewelry, piercing, or tongue splitting? If so, you need to have a serious talk. We can support you if you are having a difficult time explaining why your child should avoid piercing the tongue or other oral structures. Give us a call today with your inquiries or to set an appointment for an appointment and consultation.