While oral piercings are a popular fad among teenagers, there are many risks to consider before deciding to pierce your tongue:
Procedure Related Risks:
- Infection: Infection is possible with any opening in skin or oral tissues. Considering that the mouth is teeming with bacteria, oral piercing carries a high potential for infection at the piercing site. Handling the jewelry after it is placed can also lead to infection. Failing to properly care for the piercing immediately following the procedure can also cause infection.
- Swelling: Swelling is a common sympton of piercings. The tongue is in constant motion which can slow and complicate the healing process.
Jewelry Related Complications:
- Injury to the gums: Metal jewelry in general can injure gums and if placed where it is in constant contact with the gums, it can cause the soft tissue to recede.
- Damage to the teeth: Contact with the jewelry can chip or crack the teeth or dental restorations.
- Interference with normal oral function: Oral jewelry can stimulate excessive saliva production, impede the ability to pronounce words clearl and may cause problems with chewing and swallowing food.
- Aspiration: There is always the potential for the jewelry to become loose which then becomes a choking hazard.
If you do decide to proceed with an oral piercing, extra dental care should be taken. Make sure when you brush your teeth that you also brush your tongue; take the jewelry out daily and clean it with warm water and soap and rinse the hole in the tongue with a small stream of water.
Tobacco and Oral Health
Smoking is becoming less popular, but many teens still choose to use tobacco in some form. Before you decide to try a cigarette or chewing tobacco, remember that tobacco is not only harmful to your lungs. The effects of tobacco use can wreak havoc on your entire body, including your oral health. No one wants to have discolored or missing teeth!
Below are some facts to know about tobacco use:
- Often, tobacco companies add sugar to smokeless chewing tobacco, which can lead to increased tooth decay.
- If you smoke, you are roughly two times more likely to lose your teeth. According to Tufts University, smokers lose 2.9 teeth every 10 years. For someone who starts smoking at age 18, that could mean a loss of 4 to 5 teeth by age 35.
- If you smoke or dip, you are putting yourself at risk for bad breath, oral cancer and periodontal disease. Oral cancer is usually not painful in the early stages. Therefore, many people ignore them. Don’t wait to receive treatment. The longer you wait, the more you will need extensive surgery or worse; you can lose your life. Warning signs include:
- Ongoing sore throat
- Leathery red or white patches on the lips and on or underneath the tongue
- Pain, sensitivity, or numb areas in the mouth or lips
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongueoChanges in tooth alignment
We stumbled onto another good website today: about-face.org. About-Face equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image. On their website they explain WHY they do what they do:
Why we do it
All the major studies point to the problem: Western culture’s emphasis on stereotypes of women and girls, and thinness as the beauty ideal, is a risk factor for depression, negative mood, and binge eating. In turn, dieting is linked with eating disorders. In addition,
- 95 percent of girls want to lose weight.
- Teenage girls who read articles about dieting are five times more likely to take extreme weight-loss measures five years later than girls who do not read such articles.
- Body image and eating disturbances contribute to higher levels of depression in adolescent girls.
- Women of color and Caucasian (white) women are equally likely to present symptoms of eating disorders such as bulimia and binge eating disorder.
Check these guys out!
Take the quiz at dosomething.org!
We heard about a great not-for-profit group for young people called dosomething.org, so thought we’d check it out. And guess what? It’s amazing! Here’s a few things they say about themselves:
DoSomething.org is the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change. We have 2.5 million members (and counting!) who kick %*# on causes they care about. Bullying. Animal cruelty. Homelessness. Cancer. The list goes on. DoSomething.org spearheads national campaigns so 13- to 25-year-olds can make an impact – without ever needing money, an adult, or a car. Over 2.4 million people took action through DoSomething.org in 2012. Why? Because apathy sucks.
- Believe in young people. Young people have the power to lead. We don’t require old people!
- Trust young people. We provide reliable, easy-to-access information and activation strategies, but young people decide for themselves what to do.
- Celebrate young people. We think all measurable contributions from young people are valuable.
- Respect young people. We understand that young people have diverse abilities and constraints.
- Value young people. Our programs and products are free. We’re not after young people’s money; we want their passion, time, and creativity.
Some of the campaigns that are live right now are Teens for Jeans, The Bully Text, and Love Letters. Go check them out, and DO SOMETHING!
To celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl (October 11), check out some of Spoonful’s best crafts, activities, and ideas for raising strong, confident young women. The holiday and the movement are dedicated to recognizing girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.