Getting your tongue pierced may have seemed like the perfect idea until you began having problems with it. If your tongue is swollen and your mouth hurts, you should go to an emergency dental clinic as soon as possible. These symptoms can indicate an infection in your mouth, and this infection was likely caused by your tongue piercing. Here are three things you should know about tongue piercings and the effects they have on oral health.
Common Oral Problems Tongue Piercings Can Cause
A tongue piercing can lead to nerve damage in your tongue, and this often leads to a loss of ability to taste. Oral piercings can also lead to drooling issues and gum damage.
In addition, it is quite common for tongue piercings to cause teeth to chip, crack, or break. This often occurs because of the habits a person has with their piercing. When a person continuously chews on the piercing, it can weaken the teeth, and this can eventually cause a tooth to break.
Infections can form for a number of reasons, too. In some cases, an infection can follow the use of dirty equipment during the piercing. If the equipment was not sterilized properly, you could contract a variety of illnesses, including Hepatitis B. One of the problems with infections in the mouth involves the way they can spread to other parts of the body. If your mouth has an infection in it, the bacteria from the infection can get into your bloodstream. If this happens, your infection will transfer to other parts of your body, possibly including your heart.
What You Should Do If You Have a Problem
If you begin to suspect an infection in your mouth, you should remove the piercing from your tongue and clean your mouth with mouthwash. This will help reduce the bacteria count in your mouth, but it will not stop an infection. The next thing you will need to do is visit an emergency dentist.
A dentist will be able to evaluate your condition and treat it. If you have an infection, the dentist will give you antibiotics. Once you begin taking the antibiotics, the infection will slowly go away. If your tongue is so swollen that you are not able to breathe well, the dentist may suggest going to an emergency medical clinic. A doctor might have to place a breathing tube in your nose to help you breathe until the swelling goes down.
If you have other issues from the oral piercing, the dentist will likely suggest fixing them. For example, if you have a cracked tooth, the dentist can repair it. Leaving a tooth cracked opens up the risk for further problems with that tooth.
Ways to Prevent Further Problems
After getting your emergency situation fixed, you may decide to keep the piercing out of your mouth to avoid further problems. If you decide to keep the piercing, though, you will need to take some steps to avoid problems from arising once again. Here are some tips to help you prevent issues from your piercing in the future:
- Remove the piercing each time you eat and when you sleep. By doing this, you will minimize the chances of damaging your teeth from the piercing.
- Use mouthwash each morning and evening, and also rinse with mouthwash after you eat.
- Visit a dentist immediately if you experience any problem with your piercing. If you go to a dentist quickly, you may be able to solve the oral issue faster than if you wait until the symptoms have worsened.
With the right steps, you may be able to prevent infections and other oral issues from developing from an oral piercing. If you do experience a problem with your piercing, you should visit a dentist immediately. To learn more, contact an emergency dental clinic today, such as Rose City Dental Care.