Apparently dentists and doctors are warning against doing oral body piercing. Apparently the mouth doesn't heal from piercing like elsewhere in the body, and infection is always a threat. This is due to the fact that the exposed skin in the mouth is specialized to deal with the environment it's in, and the skin that heals from the piercings (and other things like tongue splitting is thinner and offers less protection. Then there's the worries about the jewelry coming loose and being swallowed or inhaled.

Bah. The American Dental Assocation really annoys me because they lie about this stuff to the point where even dentists who don't necessarily encourage it admit the ADA is wrong. Oral piercings heal just like any other part of your body. Infection is only a threat if you're stupid and forget your mouth wash or start French kissing people a week after getting it. After a month or so for tongue piercings and various time periods for other oral piercings, it's fine. And as for swallowing jewelry, proper body jewelry will not come apart. Even if somehow you do swallow something, you'll be fine. Inhale it and you're in trouble, but that's true for anything you put in your mouth.

That said, oral piercings do pose a health risk. Labrets can mess up your gums and lead to tooth loss if you're not careful, but that's easy to avoid with proper jewelry. Tongue piercings can do the same if you have bad placement and jewelry, but that's really rare. The larger problem with tongue piercings is tooth damage - bite down on your barbell and you can crack a molar. You can also chip your teeth. Make sure you go to a good piercer if you get your tongue pierced so they can place it properly and give you the correct size jewelry. If you're responsible, there's no real risk in oral piercings.

Heh, two other dangers of oral piercings I found out recently - lousy kissers will make your tongue hurt, and it's hard to blow bubbles with bubblegum. Ah well. The prices we must pay.

Much like dragoon's w/u, the ADA and dentists in general are quite conservative when it comes to newfangled liberal ideas such as oral piercings.

Lousy kissers can indeed make your tongue hurt. It's been roughly two months since the initial piercing, and one month since the repiercing (My tongue piercing was swallowed when one of the balls came dislodged and i was eating a carmel and the remaining ball and rod went down with the ship), and when pressure is applied to either side with significant force, it still smarts.

Some of the 'annoyances' not mentioned in the above w/u's are:

  • After the initital piercing, the resulting swelling makes the process of swallowing extrememly hard, and when attempts at eating solid food ensues, massive amounts of pain follow.
  • When the swelling begins, you tend to bite the edges of your tongue. That hurts more than the piercing process itself.
  • The top of the piercing tends to come unscrewed, and as a result, can get caught in passing food, and go down with the foodstuff. Hearing a clink in the toilet a few days later isn't comforting either.

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