Body piercing is popular today in the United States and other western societies. One common type of body piercing is tongue piercing, which involves placing a “barbell”-type stud through the tongue. But wearing a tongue stud puts people at risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums, and nerve damage, warns the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
However, most people don’t realize that getting an oral piercing also places them at risk for developing a fatal infection or, in some cases, a mini-tongue, according to a report in the January/February 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
In the report, a young woman’s pierced tongue developed a large, round lump adjacent to the piercing. The lump, which she called her “second tongue,” didn’t hurt, nor was it infected, but it was growing. This mass was determined to be a scar tissue formation. Improvement was noted after oral hygiene was increased (frequent use of mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide mouthwash) and the tongue stud was replaced with a shorter shaft.
Jaclyn Finneke | EurekAlert!
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