Many people – both adults and teens – express themselves artistically and socially through various body piercings.
Though oral piercings are extremely popular, it is not without complications and risks. Piercings can be done on the tongue, the lips, cheeks and the soft structure that hangs down in back of the palate known as the uvula with those on the tongue remaining the most popular. It is important to visit a licensed and qualified professional who work with disposable gloves, sterile instruments and sterile jewelry.
The patient will experience pain, swelling and an increased volume of saliva after the procedure which can generally last for several days. In some cases, infection will set in. If the procedure punctures blood vessels there can also be prolonged and excessive bleeding.
The patient must usually wait for 3 to 6 weeks until the area has healed enough for permanent jewelry can be put in. Spicy food, alcohol and smoking must be avoided during the healing process. The patient usually rinses the mouth several times a day with an antiseptic or warm salt water and must speak as little as possible, avoid deep kissing and oral sex for a minimum of 2 weeks to minimize the possibility of infection.
Chipped teeth, allergic reactions, differences in food taste, issues with speaking, chewing and swallowing can also occur with an oral piercing. It is recommended that the patient remove the jewelry once daily to clean by flushing the site with water. The tongue must be brushed along with the teeth daily for those with tongue piercing. Injury is possible when engaging in contact sports so proper protection must be worn.