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Oral Piercing

Oral piercing -- like tattooing -- is a popular form of body art and self-expression in Western society.

Tongue and lip piercing are among the many types of body piercing that have been performed by a number of different cultures for centuries. These piercings signified events that occurred in an individual's life. Today, oral piercing is done mainly for aesthetic purposes.

However fashionable a pierced lip or tongue is, it doesn't come without risks. The piercing can be painful, swell and get infected. If it is done with dirty instruments, you are at risk of getting hepatitis or HIV. Chipped teeth, receding gums and bone loss can be caused by the jewellery. It can even impair speech and the ability to chew. Is it really worth it?

If you decide to have your tongue or lip pierced, there is some information that you need to know:

  • Oral piercing should be done in an inspected premise. Ask for the most recent inspection report. If the premise cannot provide it for you, it may have something to hide.

  • Piercing is most often done in unregulated parlours by untrained staff.

  • Choose a parlour that is clean, sanitary and well lit.

  • There must be sterilizing equipment present and used on tools for piercing.

  • Follow after-care instructions closely.

  • Never pierce yourself or a friend.

  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day.

  • Visit your dentist regularly.

Contact your dentist or doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever or chills.