Tongue and Lip Jewelry Provides Avenue for Potentially Deadly Infections
The Irish Dental Association (IDA) warns that lip and tongue piercings can lead to serious health problems, potentially even death. With no regulations governing body piercings, young people getting pierced run the risk of contracting hepatitis or other blood-borne diseases from unhygienic piercing needles. The risk is especially high for people with heart murmurs, as the piercing provides an avenue for bacteria to enter the bloodstream , which could possibly lead to infective endocarditis, a potentially fatal heart condition.
Additionally, oral piercings can lead to dental problems. Though a pierced tongue or a lip piercing may appeal to a young person, they should realize the risks: infections can occur, gums can recede, and the metal jewelry can abrade the tooth enamel, even chipping or cracking the tooth. “If you get an oral piercing, you must accept that you will damage your oral health, and, in many cases, what damage you do will be irreversible,” cautions Dr. Kevin O’Boyle of the IDA. (That’s the Irish Dental Association, not the dental marketing company Internet Dental Alliance.)