A tongue barbell (a rod through the tongue with balls on either surface) may be associated with a number of complications, some serious.


Complications of a tongue barbell:

(1) airway obstruction

(2) interference with eating

(3) trauma to gingiva and palate

(4) bleeding and/or hematoma

(5) edema of the tongue

(6) infection, including Ludwig's angina

(7) increased saliva and/or drooling

(8) interference with radiographs

(9) loss of taste

(10) pain

(11) numbness or paralysis of the tongue

(12) contact allergy to metal (especially nickel)

(13) foreign body reaction and/or fibrosis

(14) dental chipping, fissures or fracture

(15) getting trapped between two teeth

(16) speech impediment

(17) nidus for malignant tumor development

(18) triggering of a sensitive metal detector

(19) limitations on upward job mobility

(20) swallowing the ornament


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.