Teenagers in every generation have an uncanny ability to find ways to upset their parents. Like hanging out with the wrong crowd, wearing too-short skirts or low-rider jeans, and listening to tunes that mom and dad don’t consider real music. So, what’s today’s big button-pusher? Body piercings.  Everything from oversize ear openings, to pierced eyebrows and bellybuttons. But the real concern is a tongue stud. Why? Because piercing your tongue is actually hazardous to your health. Here are the facts, courtesy of Health magazine:

  • First, tongue jewelry can cause the tongue to swell, which makes it hard to chew, swallow, talk, or even breathe.
  • Also, infections are not uncommon and can damage veins and muscles, and cause permanent numbness, toxic shock syndrome, blood poisoning, and potentially life-threatening brain infections.
  • As if that’s not enough, getting your tongue pierced can also turn your mouth into a battery! If you’ve got metal fillings and a steel stud, it'll create an actual electrical current in your mouth. One that can slowly kill the roots of your teeth. Meaning, denture city!                       
  • One third of young adults who have tongue studs have receding gums and half of them have chipped and cracked teeth – which means they’re more likely to lose their teeth.
  • Then there are the metal allergies! Researchers at Northwestern University found that metal allergies are common. As many as one in four women have allergic reactions that include redness and swelling. So, if you still want a pierced tongue, stick with 24-karat gold or ceramic mouth jewelry.
  • A final medical problem that can be caused by tongue piercing: Drooling! Having something extra in your mouth automatically increases the flow of saliva, turning you into a literal drool machine.

So, next time your kid asks why they can't have their tongue pierced, you'll know exactly what to say.