A 20-year-old woman experienced problems with a tongue piercing when a ball of tissue began growing on her tongue next to her barbell stud. Within a few months, the growth had swollen to the size of a marble.
The growth was what is known as a hypertrophic-keloid lesion. It occurred because the woman's tongue stud, about an inch long, had become covered in plaque, and was pumping bacteria into the tongue whenever it moved up or down.
The woman eventually replaced the tongue stud with a shorter one, and began using an anti-bacterial mouthwash. However, she was left with permanent scar tissue about the size of a large pea.
Tongue piercings can also cause tooth chipping and breakage, and can lead gums to recede due to rubbing and irritation. A survey of university students found that slightly more than one in 10 have a tongue piercing.
The next time your son or daughter asks for your permission to pierce their tongue, besides giving them an emphatic 'No,' ask them if they'd like to grow another tongue ...
That's how the woman in the article described the growth that her piercing caused. And her method of dealing with it -- antibacterial mouthwash -- isn't such a great idea either.
Basically, you don't want to have any loose metals floating around your mouth disrupting your body's natural energies.
When you have two dissimilar metals in your mouth you form a battery, and through electrogalvanism you will actually have current floating in your mouth. This is also true for those with metal fillings, which is one of the reasons why you should only use composite fillings or crowns.
So, it would be wise to avoid putting jewelry through your tongue. There are better and healthier ways to achieve social acceptance. So if you are a parent reading this you have more information to inform your children of this unwise choice.
If you are personally considering this option I would strongly advise against it.