A tongue piercing causes a wound in one of the body's most bacteria-infested areas: the mouth. A tongue piercing is challenging to keep clean, which increases the risk of infection, especially during the healing phase.
There has been little research on the prevalence of tongue-piercing infections. Still, the warm, moist environment of the piercing gives it an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. Contact with food may exacerbate this danger.
According to one survey, a little over 30% of people with tongue piercings had infections. Proper care can aid in wound healing, lowering the danger of infection and assisting in the retention of the piercing.
Continue reading to discover more about the stages of tongue piercing recovery and the related hazards and treatment alternatives.
TONGUE RING INFECTIONS: WHAT CAUSES THEM?
A tongue ring is a piece of jewelry put into the tongue through a piercing hole. While tongue rings are popular, they pose hazards such as infection.
Tongue rings provide a unique entry point for infections into the oral cavity and the body. This is because they may be complicated to keep clean.
The mouth is a warm, wet area that is naturally populated by germs and food particles. This means that each new opening in the tissue has the potential to get contaminated.
However, infections are not unavoidable. Proper care can aid in helping the wound heal, minimize infection risk, and keep the tongue piercing in place.
SIGNS OF TONGUE-PIERCING INFECTION
How does an infected tongue piercing appear? Though tongue piercing infections can present in various ways, the following are the most common symptoms of an infection from a tongue piercing:
- Green or yellowish pus.
- Redness or swelling that goes well beyond the location of the piercing.
- Excessive bleeding and discomfort from crimson streaks that spread from the piercing site.
- Chills or fever.
You should act fast and contact your piercer or doctor when you have a tongue piercing infection. Many people, however, misinterpret natural indications of recovery as an illness. Piercing bumps and lymph fluid are entirely normal and harmless parts of the healing process that are frequently misinterpreted as signs of infection.
HOW TONGUE INFECTIONS FORM
The collection of harmful microorganisms in the piercing incision causes a tongue-piercing infection. These microorganisms generate a variety of unpleasant symptoms in your body.
Infections are more likely to happen when bacteria becomes trapped inside the piercing wound. Tongue piercings are considerably more likely to be infected than other piercings since your mouth contains so many bacteria.
There are various reasons why dangerous germs may establish themselves in your tongue piercing:
POOR ORAL HYGIENE
Good oral health is crucial whether or not you have oral piercings. It's more important for you to have a tongue piercing that's healing.
Brushing, flossing, and especially using mouthwash eliminate excess germs. Another strategy to prevent additional bacteria and irritation in the mouth is to avoid sweet food and drink.
POOR GENERAL HEALTH
Your mouth's health is linked to your body's overall health. If you do not take care of your body and teeth, your oral health will suffer. As a result, you should eat properly and get enough rest.
A healthy body is much better able to prevent and help fight tongue-piercing infections.
PIERCING UNSANITARY CIRCUMSTANCES
Bacteria can enter a piercing at a body piercing studio. As piercing studios adopt the best procedures available to them for sterilizing equipment to avoid infection, this is becoming much less common.
A skilled piercer may likely charge a higher fee for tongue piercing, but it will be well worth it for safety.
EXPERIMENTING WITH TONGUE JEWELS
If you mess with your tongue piercing with dirty hands, you're transferring bacteria onto your piercing, risking illness.
ORAL SEX BEFORE THE TONGUE PIERCING HEALS
Many bacteria live in our bodies, as well as in our mouths. They are typically innocuous, but regular and usually harmless bacteria can produce an infected lesion when you have a delicate new tongue piercing.
Giving oral intercourse can bring new bacteria into the mouth and result in an infected tongue piercing. Don't worry; you'll be able to resume giving after the piercing has healed completely in a month or two.
HOW CAN I PREVENT TONGUE-PIERCING INFECTIONS?
To avoid infected tongue piercings, the ADA recommends the following steps for oral piercing:
Clean the piercing site with a mouthwash or washing solution such as SNOW®’s all-new award winning Whitening Mouthwash to lessen the risk of tongue ring infections in the weeks after piercing. Wash your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash regularly during the healing process.
EAT WITH EXTREME CAUTION
To avoid food contacting the piercing throughout the healing process, place food directly on your molars with your fingers. Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer if no soap is available before putting your hands in your mouth to avoid bacterial infections.
USE A SOFT TOOTHBRUSH
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush after piercing helps to reduce the entry of new germs into the mouth. After getting a tongue piercing, use a toothbrush with gentle bristles that can get into tiny crevices without being too rough on the area.
Following the above safety procedures, you may avoid infection at your piercing site. Piercings can lead to life-threatening infections, so always practice oral cleanliness.
HOME REMEDIES AND TREATMENTS
The majority of tongue piercings do not require any unique treatments or medications. Rinsing the piercing with a saline solution several times daily is usually sufficient to keep it clean. Other methods for hastening healing include:
- Brushing teeth regularly to keep the mouth clean.
- Not smoking and rinsing the piercing after each meal.
- Avoiding contact with other people's bodily fluids — including kissing and oral sex — during early healing by minimizing talking during the first few days and not playing with or touching the piercing.
- Sharing plates, straws, toothbrushes, or anything else that comes into contact with another person's mouth is strictly prohibited.
Do not attempt to treat an infected piercing yourself. An infection can be dangerous. It can leave you with severe scarring and even spread to other parts of your body. If a person suspects an illness, they should consult a doctor.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A DOCTOR?
Do not contact your piercer if you have any questions regarding your piercing. A medical professional can best assess the problem and advise on next steps.
See a doctor immediately if you develop signs of a dangerous illness, such as swelling, trouble breathing, fever, chills, or severe pain. These might be symptoms of a potentially fatal illness, such as tetanus or heart inflammation (endocarditis).
Although severe infection symptoms are uncommon, it is critical to be aware of them and get medical assistance if they arise.
Tongue-piercing infections are unpleasant to cope with. Keep your tongue clean to give yourself the best chance of preventing problems from occurring. Also, as the piercing heals, keep an eye out for the most typical indicators of infection.
If you develop an infected tongue piercing, keep the jewelry in place and clean it with a sea salt solution. See a doctor if the infection worsens.
HOW DO YOU TREAT AN INFECTED TONGUE PIERCING?
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help treat and prevent the infection from spreading. It would help if you did not take off your jewelry during this time. This traps infectious diseases inside your tongue and may lead to complications.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TONGUE PIERCING IS INFECTED?
Pain, swelling, discoloration, lumps, and yellow or green pus are all symptoms of an infected tongue piercing. If your piercing becomes infected, your tongue may expand and restrict your airway, making breathing difficult.
HOW EASILY DO TONGUE PIERCINGS GET INFECTED?
Because of the bacteria in your mouth when your tongue is pierced, especially new ones, are more prone to infection than other types of piercings. Eating and drinking introduce a lot of bacteria. Bacteria can be transferred through French kissing, oral sex, and other sexual activities.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR TONGUE PIERCING IS REJECTED?
More of the accessory is seen on the exterior of the piercing. After the first several days, the piercing may stay painful, red, itchy, or dry. Under the surface, the jewelry begins displaying more as the pierced hole appears to be growing in size.