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Friday, February 14, 2014

How tongue piercing and splitting impacts your oral health

Tongue piercing is something that has been around for ages. The Aztecs and Mayans of Central America and Haida, Kwakitul and Tlinglit tribes of the Pacific Northwest considered tongue piercing to be a form of self-sacrifice. The Epi-olmec (the Olmec) tribes from India and Thailand also practiced tongue piercing for religious reasons.

Today, our society does not view tongue piercing and even splitting as a ritual and religious practice. There are more information available now regarding tongue piercing and splitting on the internet. However, due to lack of knowledge and research, many people still encounter infection and other oral health problems.

One way to prevent infection from happening is to get your tongue pierced by an experienced and reputable piercer. Make sure that you are in a sterile environment and follow the aftercare instructions strictly to aid the healing process. Also, check to see if you are allergic to the materials of the jewelry.

Even though tongue splitting isn't usually done by a piercer and is typically a self-done procedure, you still must research and strictly follow the aftercare instructions. The following lists some aftercare recommendations and tips for those that look into or currently having tongue modifications:
- Rinse mouth with either alcohol-free antimicrobial mouth rinse, sterile saline solution and/or purified water for 30-60 seconds after meals and at bedtime, 4-5 times daily for the first month of healing
- Cleaning the modified site too often can also irritate the area
- Keep your jewelry clean and in good repair
- Gently brush debris from the jewelry post with a toothbrush on a regular basis

(Parkell Today, 2/2014)

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