Body piercings, including mouth piercings, are a well-known form of self-expression. A tongue piercing, also known as an oral piercing, penetrates the tongue from one side to another, usually directly through the center of the tongue. Here are a few options for other oral piercings you can consider:
- Midline: Along the midline of the tongue (one of the most common sites)
- Frenulum: Underneath the tongue
- Tongue web: Two tongue piercings placed side-by-side
- Horizontal: Placed horizontally on the tongue
- Side tongue: Placed on the side of the tongue
When you decide to get an oral piercing, try to have it placed in by a doctor in a clinic. Make sure the clinic you chose is clean and that the instruments used for piercing have been sterilized. Make sure to use an antiseptic mouthwash just before the piercing process. Prior to the incision, a small mark is made on the site. When the jewelry is placed at the end of the piercing needle, it's guided through the incision and the tongue piercing is completed.
Proper Aftercare for Your Mouth Piercings
You'll want to talk to your dentist or physician immediately if you have any signs of infection, which include swelling, pain, fever, redness at the piercing area or chills. You'll want to avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth. Occasionally check tightness of your jewelry to avoid swallowing should it become loose. When playing any sports or exercising, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouth guard. As always, keep the oral piercing area clean by using a mouthwash, like Colgate Total® Mouthwash for Gum Health, after you eat.
Problems That May Arise
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), while getting an oral piercing may be attractive to some, there are a number of health-related risks associated with this type of procedure. Here are some risks and side effects to look out for:
- Endocarditis (Inflammation of the heart)
- Nerve damage
- Damage to the teeth
- Difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing or moving your mouth
- Possibility of swallowing loose jewelry
- Allergic reaction to the metal
- Gum disease
Always make sure to visit you dentist regularly for your oral health care every six months, too. Your oral health professional can be instrumental in making sure that your mouth piercings are safe, clean and secure. Your oral home care regimen should include daily flossing along with twice-to-three times-a-day tooth brushing. Utilizing a product like Colgate Total® Advanced Fresh + Whitening Toothpaste can help you achieve your oral home care for a clean and healthy mouth. After all, having an oral piercing may be your newest asset, but a beautiful smile can be with you forever!