Piercing of the tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,) can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. It may also cause:
- Infection, pain and swelling. mouth is a moist environment, home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria, and an ideal place for infection. An infection can quickly become life threatening if not treated promptly. It’s also possible for a piercing to cause tongue to swell, potentially blocking your airway.
- Damage to gums, teeth and fillings. A common habit of biting or playing with the piercing can injure gums and lead to cracked, scratched or sensitive teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings.I have painfully restored multiple good healthy teeth with crowns that have fractured because of a tongue ring says Dr Cherukuri
- Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site is also possible.
- Nerve damage. After a piercing, experiencing a numb tongue is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary, but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect the sense of taste and movement of the tongue. Damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.
- Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.
- Dental appointment difficulties. The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.
If you already have piercings:
- Contact your dentist or physician immediately if you have any signs of infection—swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.
- Keep the piercing site clean and free of any matter that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
- Try to avoid clicking the jewelry against teeth and avoid stress on the piercing. Be gentle and aware of the jewelry’s movement when talking and chewing.
- Check the tightness of your jewelry periodically (with clean hands). This can help prevent you from swallowing or choking if the jewelry becomes dislodged.
- When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouthguard.
- See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.