Tongue piercings have found their way into the life and mouths of so many. For some it is a style statement, for many it is a protest against tradition. Enough has been said about the havoc wreaked by a tongue piercing to oral health. You know it: the infection, the damage to gums and teeth, the nerve damage, and the pain.
But what if you already have one and want to keep it anyway? Here are some measures that could help. An informed choice about a simple thing like the material of your piercing can go a long way in preventing many an ill effect.
First of all, let’s talk a teeny bit about why the mouth is prone to infection. As averse as we are to putting anything unhygienic into our mouths, it is still a breeding ground for bacteria. The mouth is perpetually moist and moisture is a bacteria magnet. The tongue has been designed with a thick skin and is doubly protected by saliva rich in antimicrobial proteins. But, a breach in that layer (enter: tongue piercing), and bacteria have a field day. They thrive and multiply in your mouth becoming a sure cause for painful and harmful infections. There have been cases of related brain infection, too! The culprit, then, is bacteria.
Studies have shown that metal piercings can add to the chances of developing an infection. Steel, titanium and other metals look trendy, yes. Apparently, bacteria find them attractive too! Bacterial multiplication is much more on metal surfaces than on other materials.
Polytetrafluorethylene or Polypropylene…Plastics! To a certain extent, synthetic materials like Teflon will prevent the spread of bacteria and infection. Plastic tongue rings come in uber-trendy designs and are much safer too. No need for glum faces yet!
Enjoy your tongue piercing if you have to; but play it safe and go with plastic instead.