In typical teenage self-contradictory fashion, young people want to express themselves by copying their peers. So much for individual style.
Self-expression can be shown in a number of ways: through your style of dressing and fashion sense, through your hairstyles, through makeup, and through body art.
Body art encompass a wide range of procedures that are aimed at enhancing or altering (it’s open for debate) the body, such as: tattooing, piercing, branding (as with cattle), scarring, tongue splitting, transdermal implants, and even tooth filing, among many.
In the case of piercings, it’s not just the ears, tongue and nose anymore. These days, practically any surface of the body can be pierced. Though most teens opt for the multiple ear, nose, lip, tongue and eyebrow piercings.
Tongue piercing has grown in popularity over the years, and seeing people with pierced tongues is very common. As it is, most kids want to join the trend. However, there are a number of health risks that kids should know if they are considering getting their tongues pierced. As parents, it is your job to bring these health risks to their attention.
Nerve damage. Several blood vessels line our tongue. If a vessel gets punctured by a needle, it could result in sever bleeding and nerve damage.
Teeth damage. Oral piercings can cause chipped or cracked teeth, loss of enamel, and increased risks of tooth loss.
Blood poisoning and infection. Our mouth contains millions of bacteria which can easily get into the open wound caused by piercing, resulting in blood poisoning and infection.
Disease transmission. The National Institute Of Health (NIH) names piercing in general as a possible transmitter for serious blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B, C, D and G, as well as HIV/AIDS.
Pain and swelling. The side effects of oral piercings usually include pain and swelling. The tongue could swell big enough to close off your air passageway and prevent breathing. Of course, scarring occurs where the tongue was pierced.
Choking. The tongue ‘ring’ could easily come loose inside the mouth that could lead to choking.
Recessed gums. The Journal of American Dental Association reported that tongue piercing increases the risk for recessed gums.
Speech interference. Another common by-product of tongue piercing is impeded speech.
Aside from making your child aware of the possible health risks of tongue piercing, arm yourself with state laws that could actually keep your teenager from getting his/her tongue pierced without your consent. Do some research on such laws in your state.