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Tongue Piercings… are they safe?

As people are running out of body parts to pierce, many are turning to eye brows, cheeks, lips and commonly, the tongue.

Like with piercing different parts of the body, piercing the tongue involves a needle going through the midline of the tongue, to insert a stud, hoop and or barbell shaped piece of jewellery. This is usually done without anaesthetic, and recovers after 4-6 weeks.

If you already have a tongue piercing and don’t want to know the detrimental effects of them… then stop reading here…


please consider what it means for the state of your teeth and oral health. 


If you have your tongue pierced and have inserted a stud (or other adornment), you are risking painful damage to your teeth.

Piercing can result in trauma to teeth (from contact between the metal object with teeth), interferences with chewing and speaking, hypersensitivity to metals, food packing in the pierced site (resulting in possible infection), as well as difficulty in breathing from airway obstructions due to swelling from infection.

As you know, the mouth is full of bacteria. Although this bacteria causes no harm normally; piercing allows these bacteria to penetrate to the inner tissues of the tongue where they can cause serious infections.

Additional to direct complications from the piercing site, piercing also puts you at risk of contracting blood borne hepatitis.  This can also result in secondary infection, which can be serious.

Horror stories have also been reported of studs dislodging and pins becoming “lost” inside the tongue, requiring oral surgery to retrieve them.


If you are still thinking about piercing your tongue, it might be worth while having a read of this ABC News Article.