Maheu-Robert et al reported complications associated with tongue or lip piercings. A person getting a piercing should be informed of the potential risks. The authors are from Basse-Cote-Nord Health Centre and Laval University in Quebec, Canada.


Patient selection: tongue or lip piercing


Complications with both tongue and lip piercings:

(1) allergic reaction to metal

(2) bleeding

(3) galvanism

(4) gingival recession and/or trauma

(5) hyperplastic scar or keloid

(6) increased saliva flow

(7) infection, local or systemic

(8) inhalation of jewelry

(9) interference with MRI

(10) interference with radiographic images

(11) interference with speech, chewing and swallowing

(12) pain

(13) paresthesias

(14) swelling/edema

(15) tooth fracture or chipping



(1) airway compromise


Other considerations (not listed by authors):

(1) One or more of these findings may cause disfigurement (cosmetic disability).

(2) The presence of some piercings may limit job prospects.

(3) A projecting stud can be caught during a traumatic episode, contributing to further injury.


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