Adolescent Dentistry

? Tongue Piercing – Is it really worth it?

Adults and teenagers in particular today, seem so casual when they speak about tongue piercings. It has gotten totally acceptable in society. The question you might ask yourself is— Did they take the time to research what happens or could happen during the process of piercing and in the long-term?

Tongue piercings or tongue splitting may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. Medically, your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. Per the American Dental Association, “our mouth and tongue could swell so much in the process, that you close off your airway or you could possibly choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in your mouth. Furthermore, you could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on the piercing, and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing could also lead to more serious infections, like hepatitis or endocarditis. Piercing your tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,) it can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing.”

With the possibility of infection, pain and swelling in addition to the damage to gums, teeth and fillings, it also may cause:

  • Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site are also possible.
  • Nerve damage. After a piercing, you may experience a numb tongue that is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary, but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. Damage to your tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.
  • Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.
  • Dental appointment difficulties. The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.

The bottom line—Don’t pierce on a whim! The piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep. Talk to your dentist for more information.


? Tobacco Products – Cancer Anyone?

Smoking or Chewing Tobacco, is it worth it?? Parents need to discuss the dangers of tobacco with their children and teens so that they can think on their own when friends try to coerce them into trying it! Some teens who are involved in sports, think that the use of smokeless tobacco (a/k/a spit, dip, chew or snuff) is the norm when playing ball; other kids just think it’s cool! They think that it’s the safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is an unfortunate misconception. A statistic that should be promoted is that one can of snuff per day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes.

Teens need to know — Tobacco products can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning. Other possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products include:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease
  • oral cancer

And remember, there is no such thing as a healthy tobacco product!


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Chester County Dentistry for Children provides specialized, comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents in a fun, stress-free environment that focuses on prevention and education. Our goal is to help your child be healthy and enter adulthood free of dental diseases and dental fears – with good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.

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