January 16, 2011

Tongue Piercing Infections

It seems that tongue piercing is slowly becoming more popular than ever... and correspondingly, there seems to be even more tongue infections than ever before due to the piercing.

If tongue piercing MUST happen, it is recommended that you avoid studs made of metal which increases the risk of infection, at least according to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study demonstrated that studs made of steel might promote the development of a bacterial biofilm leading to increased risk of infection whereas those made of polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene are inert to such bacterial colonization.

I should also add that metal studs may cause an allergic reaction leading to painful tongue swelling/itching, especially in those with metal allergies. This is similar to the skin reactions that some people experience with cheap metal jewelry.

Tongue piercing: the impact of material on microbiological findings. J Adol Health online, 2011
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.


tattoo Charlotte said...

Infection is one of your worst enemies. Having your tongue pierced requires proper care and you should be aware of this. Always seek professional advice if you are not quite sure how to care for your newly-pireced tongue in order prevent more problems from occurring.

Anonymous said...

ya see i want to get my tongue pierced too but that is what i am afraid of. i dont want it getting infected. i have my nipples pierced and bottom lip pierced 3 times on the bottom and none of them have gotten infected but a humans mouth is really dirty, so could anyone give me tips on how to take care of it ??

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