A popular piercing fad
in the Western world after nose and ear piercing, tongue piercing is now one of
the season's must-haves. Before getting it done, it is important to consider a
few facts so you'll be able to take a better decision regarding tongue
depict pictures of the Aztecs and the Mayans having their tongue's pierced.
Though the ancients used it as a method of pain infliction, God-honoring and
other religious practices, today, it is a worldwide trend. Teenagers get their
tongue pierced and clasp jewelry onto it-which is now gaining popularity, even
The procedure: Tongue piercing is usually done right through
the center of the tongue. While getting
your tongue pierced, the piercer will check your tongue underside for large
blood vessels and mark the place for the piercing. The tongue is then held with
forceps and a pierced with a needle from bottom to the top. In cases when the
tongue is pierced from top to bottom, a cannula needle is used.
The after-effects: You should expect pain and swelling for at least
2 days post-piercing. It is not unusual that the tongue will swell up to double
its size after the piercing, and may cause problems while speaking or eating.
It is thus recommended that after the piercing, one should suck on crushed ice,
which helps reduce pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory
drugs can also be taken, if the pain is unmanageable.
Post-piercing, it is
advisable to avoid spicy food, alcohol and nicotine, and allow the tongue to heal.
The risk-factor: The International Dental Society has confirmed
that tongue piercing can lead to a risk of damage to the teeth including
chipped teeth, gum recession and even cutting of the tongue. If done
improperly, the person may suffer from nerve damage, breathing difficulties,
inability to swallow, paralysis of the tongue and infection. Using sterile
equipment is highly important to reduce possible risks of HIV and other
infections. In some instances, the ornament may come loose and may go down your
throat causing lung or intestinal tears.
The stats: 14-41% of those having their tongues pierced
reported dental fractures. Deadly brain abscesses affected around 2% people,
whereas 19-68% of subjects reported recession of gingival tissue.