A Bit on Body Art
In every big city—and down on a lot of farms—”body art” is all the rage. While we begged our parents for discreet earrings, our children are piercing various body parts in surprising places. Lips, tongue, cheeks, even the uvula (the dangling thingie in the back of the throat) are fair game in and around the mouth. Aesthetics aside, how dangerous is piercing, really?
First, the downside
- Piercing usually happens at a salon or, more often, a tattoo parlor. Though some states regulate such businesses, few piercers are licensed, most self-taught. The tongue, in particular, has veins that mustn’t be disturbed. We hope your piercer knows where they are. Sterilization standards must be in place or the risks of infection during and after the procedure are heightened.
- It hurts; you’ll bleed.
- Jewelry in the mouth can be swallowed. Teeth can be cracked. Gum tissue may tear or over grow. Scar tissue may form. Food gets stuck in the pierced site.
- Excess saliva production causes drooling. Speech is impeded, at least for a while. And the very worst of all, the pierced individual, guaranteed, will “play” with a tongue device—and you’ll have to watch.
Most teenagers grow beyond body piercing, and the body likewise heals itself. People who enjoy a good clean mouth usually won’t have infection problems. When it’s gone—and it will be gone one day—there may be slight scarring. But, hey, it’s all in the name of art.
The most hazardous effects of tongue piercing are increased saliva flow (drooling), a chipped tooth (dental bills), or overgrowth of tongue tissue.
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.