Raised as a Baby Boomer, I remember our generation accused of go wild with our socially unacceptable fashion statements. Young men with shoulder length hair and young women wearing hot pants shocked the nation’s sensibilities.
It has been suggested between the generation of our parents who we never would amount to anything with our rebel ways. Yet we have-we are honest community members, parents and even respected professionals such as dentists and oral hygienists.
And, while we thought that we had done everything, it came to pass that the generation of now-GenX-has set a trend that drops the jaw of even the boldest Baby Boomer.
Picking up from where they left the first Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, the GenX has embraced the art oral and body piercing and tattoos as a way to distinguish them by the institution.
Why is this mode of expression of identity-especially the pierced tongue-creating such concern among parents and adults that include the American Dental Association? We Baby boomers are just a bunch of hypocrites self-expression?
Okay, I confess to being picky on oral or dental pain. Makes my knees weak just to catch a glimpse of a barbell impaled language in the mouth of a teenager.
In all honesty, though, that is not the only issue at stake. Today we know a lot more about body piercing that the ancients did. Dentists and other health professionals know that oral piercings is, to borrow an expression, risky business.
In fact, the ADA, a group of dentists that set professional standards for dentists in the United States, is officially against any type of oral piercing.
Languages are generally pierced by passing a needle through the third cable language front, from top to bottom, usually without an anesthetic. The American Dental Association warns that if a blood vessel is the path of the needle during piercing, severe and can cause damage to the nerve and/or bleeding difficult to control.
The most common symptoms after oral piercings include pain, an increased flow of saliva and gingival tissue injury. The swelling is also common and dentists warn that in extreme cases, a badly swollen tongue can actually close the airway and prevent breathing.
The American Dental Association mentions the risk of infection because any mouth just naturally contains millions of bacteria that might be set on the site of the piercing.
Children’s Hospital Boston staff goes further to explain that there are external infections that can be introduced as well. These infections have names that we recognize, such as hepatitis, HIV, Lockjaw and yeast. The staff recognizes whether the piercer wash their hands and use sterile equipment and gloves, and if the pierced tongue is receiving appropriate treatment, the risk of infection is lower (but still exists).
According to dental health professionals to CHB, infections caused by bacteria entering the sting of piercing can also occur later, even after the piercing has healed.
Other risks include Keloids (thick scars at the piercing site), dental damage (chipped and broken teeth), choking on loose jewels and allergic reactions (especially for certain types of jewelry).
As a parent of Baby Boomer children GenX my concern is less with any negative characterization of people with pierced tongues and more with the maintenance of next generation healthy until they can reach adulthood.
I would advise anyone over the age of eighteen years, including my children, that body piercing is a big decision. I would encourage them to take time to consider the risks, bearing in mind that they can always change their mind or wait if they are unsure.
After understanding the risks, if you decide to get a piercing, I would like to emphasize the importance of selecting a reputable piercer, making sure they have a certificate on the wall that says that the piercer is registered with your application, a professional piercer organization that sets safety rules for the people who do the piercing.
In addition, of course they should buy good jewelry, keep the site clean and away from irritating materials, see their dental health professional regularly-and immediately if there are symptoms of an infection!
As a former wild and crazy mini skirt wearing now responsible yet hip MOM, how he would react if I discovered a barbell in the language of my child under the age of 18 years?