No matter how cool and trendy you think tongue rings are, these piercings are dangerous and potentially fatal. Piercing your tongue can result in chipped teeth, recessed gums and nerve damage. What some people don’t know is that getting a piercing in the mouth can result in a fatal condition, like Ludwig’s angina or endocarditis.

Ludwig’s angina is an infection in the bottom of the mouth caused by bacteria, and occurs after your tooth has been infected, an injury to the mouth, an oral procedure or an unnecessary hazard to your health. When you get an oral piercing, the mouth develops an open wound for bacteria to travel through your blood. Bacteria has the power to make the bottom of the mouth swell quickly which blocks the airway or stops you from swallowing your saliva.

Endocarditis comes from bacteria traveling in the blood through the hole that has been pierced. This can be an infection in the heart, and people who have a history of heart problems are at risk for this disorder.

Most professionals will not recommend piercings, but if you do get a piercing, be sure to take good care of it. Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, like hepatitis. Make an appointment at Affinity Dental Clinic in Richmond to ensure that you are getting the follow-up care you need.