Body Piercing

Know the Fatal Dangers of Tongue Piercing

Dental damage, bacterial infection, keloids, allergic reactions, excessive bleeding, severe pain, nerve damaging are some of the common and curable infections caused by tongue piercing. Everyone feels that it’s really cool to have a tongue piercing. However, most people don’t realize the potential life threatening dangers of tongue piercing.

Here are the fatal dangers of tongue piercing:

  • The barbell of the jewelry can become loose and can go down in a wrong way i.e. it can wind up in your lungs. Now you can imagine clearly the consequences, if it really happens with you.
  • Your mouth is full of bacteria and it contains major blood vessels which can spread deadly infection to the brain which can easily kill you.
  • Chances are there that you can get a serious infection like

    Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV,

    if the artist by chance uses unsterilized equipment.

  • In extreme cases it may cause

    blood poisoning

    which ultimately leads to death.

  • It may cause

    oral cancers

    .

  • Your tongue can swell so large blocking your airways, and ultimately leading to death.
  • It can cause speech impediments.
  • Deep cyst formation
  • Severe damaging of veins and nerves
  • Neuromas

    i.e. overgrowth of nerve tissue

  • Endocarditis

    , it’s a disease caused when bacteria enters the bloodstream and damages the heart valves.

Here are some dangerous consequences of tongue piercing:

  • In one case, a 25-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital after her tongue swelled up. She was found to be suffering from a rare condition called

    Ludwig’s Angina

    which did not respond to antibiotics. This news came in the British Dental Journal.

  • In one case, a teenage boy in England died of blood poisoning after getting his lip pierced. This news was published in the London’s Telegraph in November 2005.
  • In another case, a young girl died from

    Brain Abscess

    following a tongue piercing. This condition is rare, but it can happen to you too.

Think hundred times before you go for a tongue piercing!

69 responses to Know the Fatal Dangers of Tongue Piercing

  1. well i got my tongue periced today and now after reading this u scared the effing shit out of me.

  2. I’ve had my tongue pierced for about two months. I didnt have any problems with it after the piercing session other than the normal can’t eat, can’t talk dilemmas. The past three days, out of the blue, I woke up and my tongue has been swollen. I just started moving the barbell and played with it for maybe 10 seconds, and its back to normal. Its not sore or anything. What could this be?

  3. My tongue has been pierced for more than 5 years and i have never had a problem with it.

  4. im going through my rebelious stage and have dicided to get my tongue peirced to get back at my family

  5. ok i pierced my own tounge when i was around 14(stupid i know) but i know 4 years later have had no problems, its all common sense and knowledge, most people should know its stupid to use metal topped bar bells because yes you will hit ur teeth chip crack them whatever. Clean them daily, and use soft/plastic barbel tops, dont get the piercing to far, or too close in the mouth. Common sense people

  6. I got my tongue pierced twice and it was fine both times. It has been out for about 3 months now and there is mild pain on the bottom of my tongue every once in a while. What could this be

  7. like every piercing. Its at ur own risk. Ive my tounge and labret done and no problems so far. people just relax, i just leave my peircins to it and dont go to mad on the cleanin. Sometimes to much cleanin does moee damage. Ive had my labret in for 2 weeks no problem. Cleaned it twice lol. Bit its fine

  8. I REALLY WANT MY TONGUE PEIRED BUT IM SCARD! IVE HAD MY NOSE PEIERCD HAD SINCE I WAS 15 AND CLEANED IT EVERYDAY WITH NO PROBLEM I JUST WANT A TONGUE PEIRCING IM JUST REALLY SCARD WHAT TO DO???

  9. im so effing` scared to get my tonge done,
    ithink that if i just keep it clean and do what im supposed to then it will be fine

  10. I wanted my tongue pierced for a while now but, I thought about it and knew deep inside I was only doing it cause I thought it would look good and If I really wanted to go through with it I should research it. So for the past month I have done research on hundreds of websites, watched videos, read stories of happiness and regrets. But I still have found myself unsure. Its a 50/50 chance that it may go wrong and everyone can be affected differently. So, what are the chances generally, that something will go wrong?

  11. this is pretty rediculous, cancer? blood infections? I mean your saying things that are extremely rare and can happen with any injury.

  12. i’ve had my center tongue piercing for about 7 years now and it hasnt given me any problems. I even got my venom tongue piercings done and everything is going smoothly.

  13. okay i was supposed to go get my tongue pierced today, but after reading this i’m scared to death.

  14. i had my bellybutton pierced last year but it was rejected does this mean my tongue will too???

  15. after a couple of months with a tongue ring, can i remove it without it closing up on me? or do i have to keep a ring in it 24/7?

  16. kristie,
    it could be because it didnt completely heal before you stopped the aftercare. or it could be as simple as you’re getting dehydrated overnight which generally causes tongues to swell but is more noticeable when it’s pierced..so drink more water!

    and everyone else…the conditions mentioned in the article are INCREDIBLY rare, as long as you follow your piercers aftercare instructions and take care of your piercing it should be fine.

  17. i have my tongue pierced and it looks awesome lol

  18. oh god…i wanna du my tongue so bad…but wit wats bein said…i jus dont no

  19. OMG, i’m getting a tongue piercing on tuesday and i was like lets go online look it up and this has scared the bejesus outta me!!! i dunno if i should get it done or not! what if my tongue swells up and i’m not able to breathe!!! holy crap…so scared!

  20. I’m getting mine done, I’ll be 18 in 4 days. I’m really excited. but my dad found out and he started screaming at me that i’m going to get Gangreen. LMFAO!! So dumb ha.

  21. Yeah these problems are real but how many people does it happen to, really…. I don’t think people should get their tongues pierced without knowing this stuff but it’s really being taken overboard. it’s just like every other piercing find someone who knows what their doing and take care of it, it’s common sense to take care of a piercing seriously.

  22. I’ve had my tounge pierced for a week now and im happy to know that i wont get any infections because the tounge is moist and once your tounge is pierced you have alot of saliva so it wont get any infections

  23. ive had my tounge peirced for at least 5 months
    and none of this has happened to me
    its just like all my other peircings
    keep it clean and u will be fine

  24. wtf? i’m so scared now!!!!! don’t know what to do…

  25. well i just got mine. its fine but i took a LOT of precautions. i DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS AT ALL!!!!!!! but i did mine at home. HOWEVER ive been doing different body piercings since i was 14. if you get it professionally done you’ll have a professional who can tell you everything you need to do.
    heres what i did: an PLEASE DO NOT DO IT AT HOME. as of now [2 days] its fine but who knows wat could happen.

    i looked up all the stories. success, failures. i read them all. i was willin to take the chance if you are then go for it. if your a worry wart this is NOT the piercing for you.

    i looked at my friends. he had his done at home [by someone far less experienced than i] but i looked at it for WEEKS to see if anything funny happened to it. which nothing did but it could have. i was ready.

    i bought a fake stick on one to see how i would talk and practice eating. im so glad i did cause my parents dont know but im talking so well they havent noticed. plus i bought a clear pink ring so its unnoticable almost. but im SO glad i practiced chewing and everything because being in school i only have 20 minutes to eat lunch and i want to eat my food lol

    i looked at my veins day after day. i made sure i knew EXACTLY where my veins were. i popped them out and used a light to look through my tongue. EVEN THOUGH YOU WONT NEED TO BEUCAUSE you wont do it at home.

    how i did it:
    i have a hollow needle and i probably did it so wrong but it was the most comfortable i could. i went through the bottom and broke one layer of skin on the tongue [not in the middle!!! that white line looked dangerous!!]and took it out. i waited about a minute to see if it would bleed and then stuck my barbell in [without the needle] and broke through another layer. i didnt take it out. i then took the needle and stuck it through the top. [i looked at my taste buds for a week!!! i made sure i didnt hit any] holding the top open with the needle i pushed the barbell through the last and top layer entering my needle. pulled the needle out and put my PLASTIC ends in. my barbell is not metal. i didnt know how i would react to metal so mine is a flexible material.

    folks i took a chance and my worrying is driving me insane. it would look just as good if i had gotten it done professionally and i would have nothing to worry about. GET IT DONE PROFESSIONALLY.

    after care:
    i use an alcohol free mouthwash. crest to be exact.. it says alcohol free.
    i use it after i brush my teeth, eat, and before bed.
    i check for signs of infection after every cleaning.
    i drank a lot of ice water to keep the swelling down. mine went down in about 2 days.

    good luck AT THE FREAKIN PARLOR.
    dont be like me. dumb. it could go terribly wrong! read those stories!

  26. I have had my tongue pierced 2 times with no problems and i’m about to go get it done for the 3rd. Always carry extra balls just incase one falls out, our i wouldn’t have to do it again. I think they just want to scare you.

  27. I have had my tongue pierced for 5 years, no such problems ever occured! Don’t freak out, it isn’t like it happens to everyone. These are just freak occurances!

  28. Im getting my tounge pierced today!!! after reading all this i was s*@t Scared!! but everyones reassurances has helped and i think i will be fine!! hopefully im not one of the very rare people that get all this things! wish me luck!!! im a wimp when it comes to pain!

  29. Seriously this is a stupid article. They should have put what the odds are of getting these things. Tongue piercings with proper aftercare and common sense are an awsome piercing. I have had my tongue pierced for 8 years and streched it to a 1gauge and I have no problems. Dont let this article freak you out, please keep in mind that most of things that this article says can happen are rare cases.

  30. sam said on July 6, 2009

    i have had my tongue pierced for about 4 days its still swelled up. i can eat solid foods. but im scared because im noticed these little white spots on the inside of my lip. and if it come of it bleeds should i be concernd

  31. idk if i should do it.. i mean it would look so cool and i already have my ears peirced like 5 times each (im 13 lol) and yea i have a long time 2 wait but im just conserned how badly does it hurt and 4 how long? if you have an answer plz plz plz post me a responce! i come here often and i will see if you care thanx!!!!!!!!! :~)

  32. I just got mine done today, it is still swollen of course but its fine. I have not been able to eat anything, but i took some Ibuproben and im about to try ice for the swelling. It is really sore but im not worried about anything other then me smoking

  33. I wish my son would have checked it out a little more. Got his tongue pierced about a month ago and he is still in severe pain inspite of doctor prescribed medication. Doctors are worried about his tounge becoming deformed.

  34. I’ve had mine done for about 4 years now, and I know about 25 people who haveit done…And I’ve never come across anyone who has had any problems outside of the initial swelling and some slight irritation every now and then.

    This article is ridiculous. You have a better chance of being hit by a car walking outside tomorrow than ever having any of those things happen to you.

    If you read this, and are too scared to go get it done, I have a couple words of advice. 1) Stop being such a pansy. I’m surprised you don’t live in a plastic bubble. 2) You really shouldn’t be thiking about body mods. Seriously, just stop.

    Just curious though…Since when are speech impediments fatal?

  35. i want to get my tounge pierced but i am really scared that something is going to go wrong. any advice?

  36. just do it. had mine for 12 yrs and loved it.

  37. I have both of my ears gauged (they’re zeros) and i occasionally get cysts.. esp. when i go up a size. Will I also get cysts on my tongue if I get it pierced?

  38. my step daughter got her tongue pierced today . she is 21 , and how did i find out? cuz she cant talk . she made a choice , a bad choice, but with her brain still developing she didnt care. now she has to make another choice, remove the piercing, stay in college, have a future, or keep the piercing, and move out of the house, and be on her own. I hope she makes the right choice whatever that is. my wife has flipped out about this, its causing pain in our marriage, i dont want to be divorced ever again but the way this is going its not a good thing, signed ,one sad dad

  39. My friend got jers done profeshanaly and also did her friends she said she would do it for im strongly thinkin bout it since she has alll sorts of steril junk but is there any worrys i should have

  40. well…..
    i really want my tounge done!!
    but my mum wnt let me.. but i have a big family so one of my family members wil come with me .. but yhh can it kill me? and how much does it hurt? x

  41. I really wanna get my tongue done…but im scared. I dont get infections….i mean i wear $1 earrings and i havent an infection yet…so any tips?…and one mo question..my boyfriend is scared to have my tongue pierced cuz he’ll think ill die…n he wont let me do oral to him anymore if i get it done. is there any info that i can show him thatll show him ill b fine?

  42. I have mine pierced and I love it! and none of that scary shit up there happen to me :)

  43. I had my tongue pierced for a few years and my advice to those wishing to pierce their tongue is, DON’T. Not because it can lead to all serious of gory deaths or anything (this, I think, is extremely far-fetched), but because you will probably break a tooth or two. And believe me I still suffer the consequences. If I had to go back in time I definitely wouldn’t pierce my tongue again.

  44. I think ur daughter is 21 and she can do what she likes, your marriage can’t be very strong if you could get a divorce over sumthing so stupid, u need to respect that she is an adult and not give her crap over nothing. She could have gone and got pregnant or got into drugs but she hasn’t. Im nearly 20 and I live on my own and go to university and my parents wouldnt behave like that, they may say their opinion but thats it!!!!

  45. I was reading almost all the answer, something is true, anything has risk of infection. But why the tongue??, that area is very dangerous(blood go streigt to the cardiovascular system)))
    because as a Dentist I see the problem every day in young people.

    – 80% of them has gums problems and their gums bleed. Means Inflamation and bacterias.
    – Moderate to severe bone lost.
    – Many has history of Hepatatis,tuberculosis,severe gums problems ,AIDS,and more desease. (SO YOU KNOW THE OTHER PEOPLE, ANY KISS WITH GUMS BLEEDING HISTORY CAN SPREED ALL THIS BACTERIAS TOU YOU AND IG YOU HAVE ANY BLEDING GET WORST AND IF THE TONGUE IS NOT CLEAN,, WORST….))

    SOMEBODY SAID,, COMMON SENSE, THATS RIGTH!!

    EVERYBOBY CAN DO EVERYTHING THEY WANT IT, BUT IF YOU PLACE PIERCING IN THE TONGUE YOU HAVE MORE RISK OF SEVERE PROBLEM IF SOMETHING GET WRONG.

    TONGUE , THAT THE WORST AREA AS A MEDICAL ADVSIE.
    OTHER AREA DOESN’T HAVE BLOOD INVOLVED.

    AND IF YOU SMOKE,, WORST,,, VEFY BADD ( ORAL CANCER, 1 PERSON DIE EVERY HOUR)
    iF YOU HAVE DIABETES ,,,, SUGAR !! INFECTION !! BADDD
    IF YOU HAVE HEART PROBLEM ….. VEFRY BAD.

    PLEASE MY FRIENDS. ASK YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE ANY OF THIS PROCEDURE IN YOUR TONGUE, THE OTHERS AREAS ARE NOT AS BAD AS THIS AREA, EXAMPLE NOSE ,EAR , (REALLY NOT BIG DEAL)).

    MAKE YOUR OWN DECESION, IF YOU DID IT, KEEP IT VERY CLEAN, CONTRO YOUR YOUR DENTIST EVERY 6 MONTHS, AND BE CAREFULL WITH YOUR ,BOYFRIEND OR GIRFRIEN,, (ARE THEY CLEAN,,,, BECAUSE REMMENBER …YOU , NOW, HAS MORE RISK OF INFECTION DUE OF TONGUE PIRCING, NO THEM.

    TAKE CARE. AND SORRY IF SOME BODY FEELS BAD FOR MY OPINION.

  46. i got mine done 2 days ago… the piercing procedure took less than one minute… i dont even have the time to chicken out..hehe..
    only my close frens knw about this…
    i want to tell my gf in a few days time..after the swelling and the lisp gone…hopefully she’ll approve of it…
    its for her own benefits u knw..hehehe

  47. CASEY said on May 1, 2010

    I GOT IT DONE TODAY AND IT DIDNT HURT BUT THE AFTER PAIN IS WOW IM REALLY SCARED WHAT SHOULD I DO TO HELP WITH THE PAIN I AM AND HAVE BEEN DOING WHAT THE GUY SAID TO CO WASH MOUTH OUT AFTER ALL DRINKS,SMOKES,EATTING,

  48. I really wantd mine done!!ha noway after dat!!!why wuld u do dat ta urself???

  49. I got my tongue done a few weeks ago and it didnt hurt but i couldnt talk propper and now i have a lisp but hey its all goood :) it doesnt hurt at all and i never read anything about any of this utter crap it was fine and i didnt die so yay :)

  50. just do it stop researching cuz it will just scare u 7 years ago when got my tounge pierced i decided to do it on a whim and i was fine. why dont you look up the odds on “everything went smoothly” against “omg what have u done to me?”

  51. for that guy being a dentist.. he really doesn’t know how to spell or use proper grammer. i’ve wanted to get my tongue pierced for a few weeks now, and im kind of scared but i want to go ahead with it anyways. the only thing i’m really freaking out about is how bad its gonna hurt, and for how long. any advice on what to do to make the pain less severe and the swelling go down faster?

  52. for that guy being a dentist.. he really doesn’t know how to spell or use proper grammer. i’ve wanted to get my tongue pierced for a few weeks now, and im kind of scared but i want to go ahead with it anyways. the only thing i’m really freaking out about is how bad its gonna hurt, and for how long. any advice on what to do to make the pain less severe and the swelling go down faster other than the typical ice and tylenol?

  53. First of all for the dad who says his marriage is on the rocks because of his daughters piercing I agree with the girl that said your marriage can’t be very strong. You would throw her out for a piercing…wow. If I was her I would just leave for craziness. Second for the “dentist” if he really is one half of what you wrote makes no sense. If you can’t even type coherently, it makes you suspect.

    I have had mine done twice the first time for five years. I took it out and let it close. I decided I missed it and had it redone 2 years ago right thru the scar of the first one. Didn’t have any problems the first time or this time either.

    Oh and to the girl who says her boyfriend is freaking out trust me, he will love it. My boyfriend was with me the second time I had it done. Every boyfriend I have had I love it. It really doesn’t hurt that much and is over in a minute. The best thing to do is have ice for the swelling, I recommend Sonic’s because it is crushed, and rinse after putting anything in your mouth that isn’t water or ice. Follow your piercers instructions and you should be fine.

  54. My boyfreind (fiancee) got his done yesterday, lets just say he is now ex boyfriend, looks stupid. He is in pain and can not talk – like who cares now. Oh yes it was for my benefit, yeah right. Some peole love them and some hate them. I hate them. Before any of you rave one, we are both over 40 and I run a very large company so this type of look just does not work. Thinks about what happens in life and how it will look like also check with your partner especially if you are going to get married. You may just loose your life long partner mine did

  55. I just had my tongue pierced and it didn’t hurt one bit. Today is my third day and i have not had swelling or anything. My speech is fine…. I think I got lucky!!! I love having my tongue pierced though. My advice is to NOT BE SCARED just do it!

  56. Mickey if u had leave ur love just because he got a piercing something he like u are stupid n that means u really dint love him its just a piercing get over it just accept things that are diferent I really thing that if u leaved the dude because of that he is very very very lucky

  57. I got my tongue done 2 days ago it’s still swollen and they didn’t put a long enough bar in it to give it space to heal. Is this normal or should I see someone about this?

  58. Don’t get it done. I had mine done a ways back and it damaged my gums even with brushing / mouth wash every day. On the backs of my two front teeth there is a lack of gum tissue from where the ball of the bottom part of the piercing would sit. I just recently cracked a wisdom tooth with it and now I am expericing tooth ache from that. So I said enough is enough and took it out for good. I would recommend against it. My mouth feels empty and awkward but it’s worth it. I just hope it’s not too late for my front teeth. I am deathly afraid of getting hit in my mouth and losing those two teeth :(

  59. Well, although all these things CAN and DO happen, they are as the article said, incredibly rare. I read all these types of sites before I had my tongue pierced last Saturday. Although it did bleed, and it is still a bit sore, I have had no problems what so ever with it. For those asking if it hurts, yes, of course it hurts like any other piercing. But you won’t remember the pain when the piercer steps away. You’ll be trying to get used to talking with that thing on your tongue. You won’t even focus on how bad it hurts to talk the first couple of days until you stop talking for a while! Do not use Listerine! Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash and wash after you eat or drink anything other than water. My recommendation is to have most of your food at the same time to avoid over washing (i.e. a Popsicle, soup and apple juice at one sit down!) Don’t let this site scare you, if you go to a professional and clean it well, you’ll be fine!

  60. wow.. here it is, take care of it, be careful with it, change to a plastic barbell, dont rub it against your teeth (it wears down enamel) and you WILL be fine. to you idiots who get divorces or break up over this stuff, your probably stuck up and im sure the people you left will be much happier!

  61. my aunt has a tounge piercing she didnt die !!
    alsoo she smokes like 10 times a die weed cigars & newports and shes fine doesnt clean it anymore its healed its been 5years , andd shes fine also her teeth is not chipped but she says she never takes the tounge piercing outt because the tounge is the fastest body part too close . also i was there the first day she got it it was liike 1-2-3 se got up & rinsed her mouth payed & left it was like 2O seconds then she ATE THE SAME DAY !!! Even though ur not suppose to she didnt care . lol

  62. I always wish to have my tongue pierced, but I think i don’t have the courage to do it plus reading this, is not helping at all!!!! What should I do????

  63. my tongue is pierced i used listerine..catalflam meds for swelling and cold drinks sweelin was down in 4 days..removed d metal n have a plastic n its fine i brush three times daily and always rinse after i eat anything…..yaaaa am not dead…lol

  64. well, i am 11 going to 12 soon.i have been begging my mom to let me get wht ever piercings that i want. i’m getting my ears pierced again. but when i am 16, i can get my tongue and nose pierced but, should i get my tongue pierced due to the consequences? and how can u get aids by piercing ur tongue? if i am allergic to the fake metals should i get it pieced i have 2 wea silver for my ears. plz help scared the fuck out of my mind! this article made me so fucking scared of of my fucking shit talking mind! halp please! :3 ;)

  65. WHOA…Some these complications of tongue piercing are VERY scary,but at the same time are rare…at the end of the day if you get it done LOOK AFTER IT!!! keep your mouth as clean as possible,take vitamins to ensure speedy healing!!!!!! and even after the piercing has healed keep your mouth clean too. do not allow bacteria to breed ever.

    im 23 and i got mine done when i was 21! so far id say no problems apart from the fact ive developed two small ulcers…. its one of those things thats different for everyone depending on eg: the placement of piecring on the tongue/where you go to have it done/how well you look after it etc….

  66. I have had my tongue pierced for over 11 years, and I haven’t had any issues with infection or chipped teeth. I also don’t smoke and don’t really drink. I can’t take it out for more than a few hours or it starts to close and it feels strange

  67. my friend got a tongue ring and she didnt have any complecations except for talking a little funny for the first couple of days..and she is only 12 and nothing happend ,,the only bad thing is that she somtimes thinks that the ball at the top is food when she is eating and she bites it,ouch

  68. i got my tongue peirced like 4 days ago. i really like it except that the tip of my tongue is tingly like its splitting. its really far back idk if im just being a worry wart or i should take it out.

  69. Yes, these dangers are very much true, but also very rare. If there was that high of a chance of death from a piercing, it would probably be illegal by now. I’ve had my tongue pierced for almost a year and a half now, and I never had any issues other than not wanting to eat from the pain of moving it. I’m also a smoker, and I just made sure to rinse out with either Biotene, or non alcoholic Listerine, and I didn’t get any crazy mouth cancer. I haven’t had any problems. If you just listen to your piercer’s instructions, and make sure to care for it everyday until it’s healed, you’ll be fine. Just PLEASE, don’t do it yourself. I have 18 piercings currently, and I went to a professional piercer for every one.

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